CS admits flaws in tender for fertiliser

No exit: Mandera North MP Adan Mohamed Nooru and acting Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed. The CS had appeared before the National Assembly Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives Committee yesterday
No exit: Mandera North MP Adan Mohamed Nooru and acting Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed. The CS had appeared before the National Assembly Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives Committee yesterday

Acting Agriculture CS Adan Mohammed yesterday admitted to errors in the three-year contract for Sh6 billion import of subsidised fertiliser.

He appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Agriculture.

He was responding to criticisms by committee members that the contract was scandalous and a rip-off of public funds.

Mohammed said the contract was not properly drafted because it did not contain an exit clause.

This means the UK-registered company Holbud, which was contracted to supply 21,000 tonnes of fertiliser, will do the job for the next three years.

“We admit that we did not have an exit clause but we shall put in place systems to ensure the government does not suffer in the process,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed said the public has gotten value for money in the three-year contract.

“The nature of the contract provides flexibility on price renegotiation. Any variation in the pricing will have to be renegotiated for the benefit of farmers and not the supplier,” he said.

He said it is not unusual for the government to enter into long-term contracts, especially when the terms are not locked in.

Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi questioned why the parent ministry controlled drafting the contract.

“Why did the ministry take over the drafting? That is the responsibility of National Cereals and Produce Board,” he said.

The committee chaired by Mohammed Noor (Mandera North) adjourned to give the CS time to prepare and respond to questions.