The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has faulted the alleged payment of N1.8bn by the Department of Petroleum Resources, to a private firm, Riverman Technologies Limited, for jobs not satisfactory executed.
The private firm was expected to link all the offices of the DPR to the oil firms for the purposes of capturing gas production of the international oil companies in the gas sector.
The contract was said to been awarded by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2009 and expected to be completed in 2011 with the DPR supervising.
The contractors petitioned the Senate panel seeking full payment of the contract sum.
Details of the investigative hearing of the Senate committee held last week but obtained by our correspondent on Monday indicated that the Chairman of the panel, Ayo Akinyelure, had said the DPR officials who authorised the payment were supposed to refund the money to the Federation Account.
Akinyelure said, “Why should officials of the Federal Government pay tax payers money to a contractor without due diligence?
“Why did the DPR pay the contractors who did not execute the projects awarded to them satisfactorily?
“Government officials should have ensured that satisfactory job had been completed before paying tax payers money out.
“The person who authorised the payment should be made to refund it to the federation account.”
The representative of the DPR, who is the Assistant Director, Gas Exploration and Production in the agency, Mr Godday Ineh, told the panel that the supervising ministry issued the certificate to the contractors, which enabled DPR to pay them.