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 a letter for him to allow us count. If there’s proof that he has supplied more than the 15 per cent then we will give him his balance,” she said.
The project which is targeted at rural women has not been successful as a result of the contractor’s inability to meet the agreed delivery deadlines reached with the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Former Vice President Nemadi Sambo had recently unveiled a few of the stoves at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
By Evelyn Okoruwa – Leadership Newspaper