Controversial N9.2billion cooking stoves contract runs into hitch

Amid the controversy trailing the award of N9.2bn cooking stoves contract, indications emerged on Wednesday in Abuja that the contract might have run into a hitch, leaving the government with no option than to terminate the contract.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Nana Fatima Mede, said in a prelude to mark World Environment Day that the contractor, Integra Renewable Energy Services Ltd., handling the project has failed to adhere to the agreement.

The revelation came on the heels of several complaints against the contract, with insider sources within the ministry saying the deal fell - short of transparency in the award of the contract and other procedures reached in the deal.

Questions have been raised against the haste with which the contract was awarded at the twilight of former President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.

The contract was overseen by the then Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who even supervised some of the cooking stoves after a handful were supplied by the contractor.

But in an effort to douse tension surrounding the contract, Mede said: "The contract was awarded to the company because it had a partnership with a German company. The contract was duly awarded and certified by the Ministry of Justice.
"N1.3bn has been released to the contractor out of the N5bn given to the ministry by the federal government, with about N3.7bn still with us."
The current crisis bedeviling the contract, according to the permanent secretary, is that having supplied 15% of the cooking stoves and received the same percentage of the contract sum, "there were no subsequent supplies and certificates issued after the completion of 15% of the contract."

Mede told journalists that what the contractor "supplied to us is not complete. He has not supply more than 15%, if he has not supplied, the bond is expiring next week."

Credit: Paul Obi/ThisDay