N9.2bn cook stoves: Contractor sues FG

Festering controversies trailing Federal Government’s N9.2 billion cook stoves programme has taken a twist as Integral Renewable Energy Service Limited, the company handling the project, has secured an ex-parte injunction against revocation of the contract. It would be recalled that no sooner had Goodluck Jonathan’s administration approved N9.2 billion for the National Cook Stoves Scheme, than Nigerians started expressing outrage over the deal, describing the project as not only bizarre, but also a leeway to divert public fund. The amount was approved in 2014 for procurement of 750,000 units of clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonder bags. The Federal Government, however, consistently defended the project, insisting it would help reduce the number of death and illnesses associated with cooking with firewood. However, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Fatima Mede, blew the lead open on the project while responding to inquires in Abuja last week. Mede said the company failed to stay true to the project delivery deadline, even as she also noted that there was nothing on ground to show the contractor had supplied to the tune of 15 per cent payment made to it. According to her, the ministry has paid N1.3 billion, being 15 per cent of the contract sum. She explained that the contractor had consistently spurned letters written to it demanding physical counting of the number of stoves so far supplied. Based on the failure to give account, she hinted that the ministry might be compelled to revoke the contract. The permanent secretary also confirmed that the sum was paid from the N5 billion so far released by the Federal Government for the...
95m Nigerians rely on wood, kerosene for energy

95m Nigerians rely on wood, kerosene for energy

Over 95 million Nigerians rely on wood, charcoal and straw for energy even as Nigeria is oil exporting superpower, according to Africa Progress Report launched weekend at the just concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in South Africa. Also, large percentage of the country’s estimated 170 million population is among the households in Africa living on less than $2.50 a day, who collectively spend $10 billion every year on energy-related products, such as charcoal, kerosene, candles and torches. Nigeria has in the last few years attempted to find solution to its electricity challenges, considered as central to its development with little progress made, but the report said African governments, investors and international financial institutions must significantly scale up investment in energy to unlock Africa’s potentials. That was the main message of the new report from Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel, Power, People, Planet: Seizing Africa’s Energy and Climate Opportunities launched at the global Economic Forum in South Africa. The report calls for a ten-fold increase in power generation to provide all Africans with access to electricity by 2030. This, it is expected, would reduce poverty and inequality, boost growth and provide the climate leadership that is sorely missing at the international level. “We categorically reject the idea that Africa has to choose between growth and low carbon development,” said Kofi Annan, chairman, Africa Progress Panel. According to him, “Africa needs to utilise all of its energy assets in the short term, while building the foundations for a competitive, low-energy infrastructure. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), it said 621 million people lack access to electricity – and this number is rising, the...

FG threatens to revoke clean cook stoves contract

The Federal Government on the 4th of June threatened to revoke the clean cookstoves contract, if the contractor fails to meet up with the agreement term. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Fatima Mede, made the threat while fielding questions from newsmen as part of activities to mark the World Environment Day in Abuja. Mede said that the Federal Government had paid the contractor 15 per cent mobilisation fees of N1.3billion to the company, Renewable Energy Services Ltd handing the project. NAN recalls that the Federal Executive Council had in November, 2014 approved 9.2billion to buy 750,000 clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonderbags for rural women. According to her, the ministry is still trying to verify the quantity of the stoves before accepting the supply. “What he supplied to us in not up to 15 per cent, we have written to him that what he supplied to us is not up to our agreement. “We have written to him for us clarify the supply and count the supply physically before we accept them,’’ she said. In addition, Mede explained that the ministry had wanted to inaugurate the project last month after the former minister; Mrs Laurentia Mallam had inspected the project. She said that the ministry had to reverse the decision to confirm the supply before accepting to distribute them. “Government wants to promote renewable energy so the money is safe; there is no cause to worry. “We have told the contractor to verify the supply not only the quantity but quality before we distribute them to the beneficiaries, rural women. “Also, we have the balance from the...

Environment Ministry Comes Clean On FG’s N9.2bn Clean Cookstoves

Following allegations about the hoarding of funds meant for the purchase of 750,000 clean cookstoves and 18,000 wonder bags under the federal government’s N9.2 billion cookstove initiative, the minister of environment has finally cleared the air about the released N5 billion. The federal government had released N5 billion out of the proposed N9.2 billion for the purchase of clean cookstoves but only N1.3 billion was released by the Ministry of Environment to the contractor handling the project, Integral Renewable Energy Service Limited. The ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs Nana Fatima Mede, during a conference in Abuja, yesterday, to commemorate the World Environment Day explained that the federal government had instructed that payment be done in installments and that was why the ministry released 15 per cent of the fund which is N1.3 billion in line with due process so that the contractor can deliver the first set of stoves and wonder bags. She said that the idea is that as the supply is being made more payments will be made also based on the certificate that will be issued. She, however, said that there was no other additional certificate issued by the contractor after the 15 per cent was paid. According to her, the contractor had failed to supply the correct number of stoves commensurate with the N1.3 billion which he received for the first set of the clean cooking stoves. She stated that the contract which was signed on February 26 is for three months and elapsed on May 26. “The contractor has supplied but what he supplied is not up to the 15 per cent. We have written...
NGO Wants Buhari To Revoke N9.2bn German Stove Import Contract

NGO Wants Buhari To Revoke N9.2bn German Stove Import Contract

The national coordinator and founder of a non governmental organisation (NGO), Green Sheild of the Nation, Dr Kabir Abdulkadir Yan-Mama, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the N9.2 billion contract awarded by the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan government for importation of 750,000 cooking stoves from Germany. He said that aside the fact that “due process was not followed before the contract was awarded 72 hours before the handing over of power to Buhari, there was an ongoing effort under the Ministry of Environment to produce similar but better stoves locally.” Yan-Mama said that with the N9.2 billion, over three million pieces of the stove can be produced locally while over one million youths can be employed in its fabrication. He recalled that the whole idea of the alternative energy stoves was conceived during the reign of late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua to address deforestation, considering the alarming rate of trees fell per day to provide firewood. He said that aside the danger of deforestation, the ongoing arrangement for the local stoves is also capable of addressing domestic pollution as it uses coal while the imported stoves will merely reduce the volume of firewood consumption in cooking. The contract is just a parting gift to some people, because it was awarded barely 72 hours to the handing over. And the annoying part is that is that, the contract is generating employment in Germany at the detriment of Nigerian unemployed youths. “The contract has even been paid for before the product was supplied. The stove per unit is about N12,000 per stove while we can produce it in...