Schools will stay open despite problems with the food provider, according to Ellen Ama Daaku from the government communications team.
The National Food Buffer Stock Company has been the target of supplier protests because of unpaid debts.
In response to an allegation made earlier that the Ministry of Finance had not issued money to the Buffer Stock Company, she stated on the Big Issue on TV3 on Thursday, July 6, “I do not think the schools are going to shut down.” She then recalled how the Ministry afterwards came out and claimed the money had really been released.
How did you distribute the funds if they had been given? Buffer Stock has to provide more information, she continued.
She said, “Speak to the vendors and pay them.”
Dr. Clement Apaak, a member of parliament for Builsa South, voiced fear that schools would close if the food suppliers engaged in the free senior high school programme do not collect their arrears by the end of the week. He made it clear that if the arrears weren’t paid, the suppliers wouldn’t be able to keep supplying food to the schools.
Dr. Apaak encouraged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take quick action to ensure that the due arrears to the suppliers are immediately paid, enabling them to continue their commercial operations. He served as the ranking member of the parliamentary select committee on education.
“I genuinely don’t know what the issue is; we’ve been told that even with the IMF programme, vital sectors like education and health care, as well as social intervention programmes, are protected. If that’s the case, why hasn’t the government allowed funds to be released so that Buffer Stock Food suppliers can be paid?
The debt owing to them, as far as I’m aware, isn’t even GHS300 million. So, how has the government been spending the funds that Parliament has consistently approved for the Free SHS policy’s financing?
If nothing is done, our schools will have to close by the end of this week, therefore the President needs to stand up and take action. On Tuesday, July 4, Dr. Apaak appeared on Ghana Tonight on TV3 and warned that if nothing is done by the end of the week, schools will be shut down because the suppliers will no longer be able to provide food.
We’re under a lot of strain at home. The majority of these people go to banks to obtain loans with extremely high interest rates with the express purpose of sustaining their businesses and participating in this supply business.