General News of Thursday, 18 August 2016
Caterers under the Ghana School feeding programme in the Upper East Region, have denied receiving full payments for services they rendered for schools covering the second and third terms of the 2015/2016 academic year.
Minister of Gender and Social Protection Nana Oye Lithur, had disclosed at the launch of a school feeding policy at Bortianor in Accra, that all arrears owed caterers have been paid.
But the caterers say that claim was untrue.
The caterers for fear of victimization told Citi News on condition of anonymity that, they are constantly being harassed by their suppliers, with some threatening to cause their arrest.
One caterer said “we take foodstuff on credit from market women and farmers. Immediately they heard that school feeding programme has paid, they(suppliers) will come harassing you to pay them. Meanwhile we have not been paid in full. As we speak, the school feeding programme is owing us 53 days for the second term and the full of third term.”
“The minister of Gender came out and said, they have paid all our monies including arrears, but that is not true because we have not received all payments and the arrears. They only paid 45 days out of 65 cooking days for the second term, But no payment has been made for the third term and outstanding arrears”, another caterer lamented.
But the Upper East Regional Coordinator of the School Feeding Programme, Mr. Donatus Akamuri, explaining the reasons behind the delay in paying the arrears, said some of them were owing the programme and certain deduction ought to be effected before all their arrears will be cleared.
“What has happened is that, the second term was 65 days, 20 days was paid, and currently 25 days have been released to them remaining 20 days for which certain deductions need to be done before they are paid those monies. Some of the caterers were supplied foodstuffs and cooking equipment on hire purchase with a company in good standing with the school feeding programme with the understanding that, when the caterers are paid, deduction on the items will be deducted before the affected caterers are paid.”
“And so that is what we are doing now before we can pay the remaining 20 days, but it doesn’t mean that all caterers have been paid in full although some have been paid. With regards to the third term, its during this holidays that we are suppose to pay, until schools re-open and we are not able to pay, then they can say we owe them,” Akamuri stated.