House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), has ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the contractor to appear before it to explain the circumstances surrounding the payment of over N1.1 billion for a contract that was not performed. The committee, led by Hon Ajibola Muraina, decided to summon the minister and the contractor when it became obvious that a vessel, which had not been supplied to Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, three years after it was supposed to have been delivered, had allegedly attracted a demurrage of over N600 million at $2,000 per day.
The Auditor-General of the Federation, in a report, had recommended that the contractor should refund the money to the federal government with interest.
Hon. Muraina said the Acting Principal/Chief Executive of PTI, Mrs. Nnenna Dennar, informed the committee that the dive support sea-going vessel was in the custody of the Nigerian Embassy at Singapore, but information at the disposal of the National Assembly indicated that the vessel might not even be in existence and the facts of its non-existence had to be established.
Members of the House committee, who were on an oversight function, were taken aback when they were told that another N900 million was required to convert the vessel to a dive-support ship , almost the equivalent of what was used to purchase the vessel itself.