The Clean Cook Stoves procured by former President Goodluck Jonathan administration for distribution to rural women in an effort to check the felling and use of trees for energy generation are virtually abandoned at the National Park along Airport Road, Abuja.
Daily Trust reports that Hundreds of stoves were seen by its reporter lying under trees at the park without any form of covering or protection.
The former president, through the Federal Ministry of Environment, awarded a N9.2 billion contract for the procurement of the stoves as part of efforts to address challenges of using firewood for cooking. It is also aimed at curtailing the exposure to black carbon and particulates that are detrimental to health, especially to women, as well as contributing to climate change.
The Federal Executive Council, in November 2014, awarded the contract to Integra Renewable Energy Services Ltd. to procure 750,000 stoves and 18,000 wonder bags.
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, was billed to commission about 100,000 pieces of the stoves as against the 750, 000, (none of the wonder bags was on ground) on May 26, 2015, two days before leaving office. But the commissioning could not hold due to controversy surrounding the procurement of the stoves. The controversy emerged when the Ministry of Environment tried to cancel the contract.
The then Permanent Secretary, Fatima Mede, said the German contractor who was given three months to supply the 750,000 units of the stove and 18, 000 wonder bags had failed to deliver the items.
She noted that N5 billion was released to the ministry by the government out of which the contractor was paid N1.3 billion.
Mede, in a news conference, said it was necessary to suspend the distribution as the number supplied by the contractor was yet to be ascertained and might be below the expected number of Clean Cook Stoves to be supplied.
Daily Trust reported then that a source at the company said the company was unable to bring in the wonder bags because the ministry had not fulfilled its promise of getting a waiver for them.
The Clean Cook Stove project, which was described by many as a laudable project that would bring succor to women, especially those in the rural areas, lies fallow under trees while women continue to use firewood to meet their energy demands.
However, it was gathered that the case is still in court and so no authority would comment on it.