THE Senate has set machinery in motion to invite the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Mr Muttagha Rabe Darma, over various building projects abandoned at Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun-Warri, Delta State, which, at present, value at over N20 billion.
Also to appear before the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) is the acting Principal of PTI, Mrs Nnena Clara Dennar and other top management of the institute.
The projects include student hostels, conference centre, administrative building, chalets, staff club, among others.
The committee discovered this during an oversight visit to the institute at the weekend, and that those projects had been ongoing for five years while some had been re-awarded, others were cancelled outright and had not been re-awarded since then.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Magnus Abe, in company of his deputy, Senator Danjuma Goje and two other members of the committee, were conducted round the facilities by PTI’s acting Principal, Mrs Dennar and other top management staff of the institute.
The Committee were stunned when Engr. Adebisi Ashimi a consultant refused to volunteer any information about the abandoned projects as he initially refused to talk, insisting that he couldn’t do so because he had no documents with him and besides, he was not told that the team needed his attention.
The Committee Chairman reminded him that his intransigence was unacceptable saying “you have been paid out of Nigerians’ money. As long as you are benefiting from Nigerian money, which is being used to finance these projects, you should be able to give us comprehensive answers…”
Engr. Ashimi however explained later that he leads five other consultants on the building projects in the PTI which are worth over N20 billion.
One of the Committee member Senator Danjuma Goje, declared: “We need to see your principals and the exact number of projects for us to know why this place, that’s critical to the nation’s economy has been abandoned.”This is a terrible thing; it’s a pity…”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Dennar has pleaded with the committee to incorporate the PTI in the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PTI), adding that it’s non-inclusion in the last version was a major challenge for the institute
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