According to Builsa South MP, Dr. Clement Apaak, schools may be forced to close if the food suppliers for the Free Senior High School Programme are not paid by the end of the week.
He emphasised how the suppliers couldn’t keep supplying food without payment.
Dr. Apaak, a member of the parliamentary education select committee, has pleaded with President Akufo-Addo to make paying the debts in arrears a top priority in order to ensure the suppliers’ continued success.
“I genuinely don’t understand what the issue is. If critical sectors like education, health, and social intervention programmes are protected even under the IMF programme, why has the government been unable to release funds to pay the suppliers of buffer stock food?
“From what I understand, the debt owing to them doesn’t even exceed GHS300 million. What therefore has the government been doing with the funds that Parliament has consistently approved for use in financing the Free SHS programme year in and year out?
“The President needs to stand up and take action so that schools won’t be shuttered by the end of the week if nothing is done. Schools may close if nothing is done by the end of this week because the food providers are unable to continue providing supplies, Dr. Apaak said on Ghana Tonight on TV3 on Tuesday, July 4.
Food suppliers say they are due two years’ worth of arrears and are presently protesting outside the NAFCO offices.
Speaking on behalf of the National Food Suppliers Association, Koku Amedume explained the situation, stating that the outstanding arrears had put a lot of strain on them since they had borrowed money from banks to meet their responsibilities to the Buffer Stock.
Amedume claimed that the suppliers, some of whom even spent the night at NAFCO, found it more comfortable to stay on the premises owing to the rising pressure during an interview on the Ghana Tonight Show with Alfred Ocansey on TV3.
Additionally, they are extremely concerned about the accruing interest on the loans as a consequence of NAFCO’s failure to make payments.
“Our household is under a lot of strain. With the sole purpose of sustaining their businesses and participating in this supply business, the majority of these people resort to banks to obtain loans with extremely high interest rates.”Buffer stock had taken supplies from them for two years, and for two years we have not been paid,” he claimed.