Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, disclosed that the N500 million earmarked for the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was expended on campaigns.
Kifasi made the declaration before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts probing the allegation that the money could not be accounted for by the ministry.
According to Kifasi, “The issue we discussed at the Senate wing was purely gas matters and that issue was not really discussed”.
He added: “The chairman only passively asked what concerns PIB with gas matters and I told him the money was meant for campaigns and vehicles to be used to move around to places like North East of Nigeria and we laughed over it”.
Also, Director, Information Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Kingsley Agha, in a statement said that the publication in some national dailies alleging that the money could not be accounted for as a total distortion of what transpired at the sitting of the Senate Gas Committee on Tuesday, March4, 2014.
He stated that, “The Gas Committee, chaired by Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, was for Budget hearing dealing with the Ministry’s gas project, as can be seen in the name of the Committee.
“The reporters carefully and deliberately ignored the main subject of the sitting and delved into a subject the Committee only mentioned in passing. The report disparaged the character and person of the Permanent Secretary, Danladi Kifasi, as being incompetent to explain the Ministry’s Budget”.
“The Permanent Secretary had informed the Committee that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources did not implement any gas project because they lacked the expertise to carry the construction works hence his decision to transfer the Vote to the NNPC where the necessary expertise is domiciled”, he said.
“At this point, the Committee at the instance of the Permanent Secretary, invited Mr. Ige, the Executive Director Gas, NNPC to speak.
“In his presentation, the Executive Director, Gas NNPC, Ige was commended by the Committee for the huge success registered in the Gas Sector. Mr. Ige not only gave time-lines but unveiled the various PPP arrangements put in place to save government from the huge capital inflow required in the gas sector”.
He said that the insinuation was mischievous, callous and have succeeded in totally assassinating the character of a man of honour and repute, a Permanent Secretary who had also served in the Ministry of Finance.