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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on Nigeria President, General Muhammadu Buhari(rtd) and Mr Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to account for how the ministry spent the whooping sum of ₦116 million on pens, letterheads and toners in 2015.
The group also charged Buhari and Sylva to disclose how much was spent on the same items between 2016 and 2020.
The body made the call in response to a report by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation indicting the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on financial misappropriation. The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation had on Thursday last week, told a Senate Public Accounts Committee that the Ministry spent N116m to buy pens, letterhead and toners in one year.
In reaction to this revelation, the Deputy Director of SERAP, Kola Oluwadare said the expenditure was a ‘contravention of the Public Procurement Act 2017 by the Permanent Secretary’ thereby demanding that Buhari and Sylva should make explanations on how the money was spent.
In a letter dated December 12, 2020, which was copied to Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Oluwadare said Buhari and Sylva should use their leadership positions ‘to urgently probe how ₦116 million was spent by your Ministry to buy biros, letterhead and toners in 2015, and to disclose the amount spent on the same items between 2016 and 2020, and if there is evidence of misuse of public funds, refer the matter to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution.
‘The Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the UN Convention against Corruption and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption require the government to ensure that Nigeria’s resources are used effectively and efficiently, and in a manner consistent with the public interest.’
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK