06 June 2015, Abuja — Federal Government has suspend the distribution of the N9.2 billion presidential intervention clean cook stoves meant for rural women in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment had disclosed that it has received the sum of N5 billion out of the N9.2 billion approved by federal government for the purchase of the stove.
Addressing a world press conference to kick start activities for this year’s World Environment Day (WED), the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mrs. Fatima Mede said it was necessary to suspend the distribution because the number of stoves supplied is yet to be ascertained.
According to her, the number of clean cook stoves supplied by the contractor is suspected not to be up to the expected number to be supplied.
The Perm. Sec. explained that “The former president was supposed to commission them but we realise the implication and if we go there to commission is as good as saying we have accepted the wrong but we are not accepting them because we will also count.
“The ministry had given N1.3 billion to the contractor as part of 15 per cent kick off contract agreement to enable both parties play smooth, and the remaining N3.7 billion is kept safe in the ministry’s account.
“Looking at the supply that is in the velodrome at the national stadium to us we didn’t think was not up to the N1.3 billion that was paid to him and we wrote to him to allow us to all go there and count physically what is there.
“Until we count and we discover that he has supplied the worth of N1.3 billion because we told him earlier to secure the money with the bank so that if the supplies dose not worth it we can retrieve our money back and this is in line with the due process Act” she said.
On the distribution, Mrs. Mede said, “We cannot begin to distribute what we have not ascertained because if we had distributed them, the contractor will be cleared that he supplied everything and we took them.
“The former president was supposed to commission them but we realise the implication and if we go there to commission is as good as saying we have accepted the wrong but we are not accepting them because we will also count.”
Speaking on the focus of this year’s WED; the Perm Sec said it will focus on management of sustainable environmental management.
She said, “This year our focus is management of sustainable environmental management because we discovered at the ministry of environment that all these things about environment are linked.
“When we talk about climate change, whether you talk about waste, pollution, desertification, erosion, flooding these are all the things that contribute to climate change, gas flaring, marine pollution, oil exploration and all of that.”
She maintained that whatever you do, whether you cut down trees or the challenges of waste management all of that lead to global warming and it affects the climate.
*Funmi Olasupo – Vanguard