I hope this mail meets you well?
I thought it would be great to furnish you with some useful information around the controversial Federal Government Intervention on 9.2 Billion Naira Clean Cookstoves fund.
In November 2014, The Federal Executive Council Approved the sum of 9.2 billion for the procurement of 750,000 Clean Cookstoves and 18,000 Wonderbags to be distributed for free to rural women, see state house press release – http://www.statehouse.gov.ng/index.php/news/federal-executive-council/906-fec-okays-n9-3b-stoves-others-for-national-clean-cooking-scheme
After this announcement, most Nigerians were not happy as they had wanted our government to tackle issues of unemployment and insecurity, among others, and saw this as a misplayed priority.
Read Punch Opinion about this – http://www.punchng.com/opinion/eco-stoves-and-nigerias-rent-seeking-curse/
For us as environmentalists, and at Follow The Money, we saw it as an opportunity to ensure transparency and accountability in documenting the process and reporting to the general public on the impacts and outcomes of how these public funds would be utilized. We went ahead to launch a campaign tagged #WomenCookstoves – http://followthemoneyng.org/womencookstoves.html
Read Punch Opinion about it – http://www.punchng.com/opinion/as-code-follows-the-cookstoves-money/
We started with writing to various stakeholders and hosting monthly stakeholders meetings to facilitate information and knowledge sharing with the government, the contractor, CSOs, Media, and the general public so as to build public confidence around it and ensure accountability. See press release – http://newtelegraphonline.com/group-to-monitor-n9bn-cookstoves-fund/
Last week, we had visited the National Stadium where some stoves that had been procured by the contractor are stored, see pictures – http://newtelegraphonline.com/group-to-monitor-n9bn-cookstoves-fund/
Also, Daily Trust published an article on the controversial intervention as information around the contract is being made secret among others, please read – http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/daily/index.php/environment/55082-how-graft-stalled-distribution-of-n9-3bn-clean-cook-stoves
This made a huge impact as the Ministry of Environment reacted by hosting a public inspection of the stoves and made an announcement of the official launch by Mr. president, please read – http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/daily/index.php/environment/55082-how-graft-stalled-distribution-of-n9-3bn-clean-cook-stoves
Follow The Money Team at CODE joined other stakeholders to witness and document the Presidential Launch at the Banquet Hall in The Villa. This was done by The Vice-President. After the lunch I was introduced to the Minister of Environment as The Team Lead, Follow The Money. She publicly insulted me and started shouting at me, creating a huge scene. All I said was ‘Madam Minister, can you please tell me how many stoves has been supplied? And can I please get a copy of the contract that was signed between The Ministry and Contractor’? I was particularly shocked when she said ‘Do you think only you can save Nigeria, this small boy’.
Please Read Dotun Roy’s words about this – http://www.olufamous.com/2015/05/fraud-in-fgs-n93bn-clean-cooking-stoves.html#more
This would not make me or my colleagues at Follow The Money relent in our efforts in fostering transparency and accountability in how funds meant for rural communities are being utilized. For us, we believe a responsible government is open and accountable to the people, knowing that public funds are meant and should be used to provide basic amenities for the rural poor.
The 9.2 Billion Naira are public funds (Tax payers money that belongs to Nigerians), why should the Contract now become a Secret document?
Take time to read and comment of today’s Punch Opinion about this N9.2 Billion controversial Clean Cookstoves – http://www.punchng.com/opinion/the-fraud-called-clean-cookstoves/
Kindly join us as we engage via Twitter using #WomenCookstoves to ensure accountability and do feel free to share: Information is Power!
Co-Founder, Follow The Money