School feeding programme caterers to be paid arrears

The government has released GH¢40 million to the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) as part payment of the GH¢126 million arrears owed to caterers for services rendered for 145 days.

Consequently, the GSFP has decided to release the first tranche of GH¢17 million to the caterers today and another GH¢21 million on Monday, March 24, 2014.

The National Co-ordinator of the GSFP, Mr Seidu Adamu, who announced the release of the money at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said the Ministry of Finance and Economic had given an assurance that it would mobilise and release the remaining GH¢86 million arrears for the caterers by the end of April 2014.

“We are making strenuous efforts to defray these debts so that beneficiary pupils are not undeservedly affected by these developments. We are processing 21 days of feeding grants that will be disbursed tomorrow. This will be followed by the disbursement of 24 days on Monday, March 24, 2014,” he said.

Mr Adamu affirmed the government’s commitment to sustain the school feeding programme.

He said the delay in the release of funds to pay caterers was attributable to the challenges the national economy was facing. Coverage

The programme has expanded to cover all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, with total beneficiary pupils of 1.7 million, which represents 38.53 per cent of basic education population.

Beneficiary schools had also increased from 10 in 2005 to about 5,000 2013.

Mr Adamu said the GSFP was on course to achieving the target of covering two million pupils by the end of 2014.

He announced that a national policy for the GSFP was almost ready to serve as the basis for a school feeding draft bill for Parliament.

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