19 February 2013

Ghana: School Feeding Caterers Demand Three Months Arrears

Some caterers of the Ghana School Feeding in the Upper East Region have expressed their frustrations over the government's failure to release money for the work they have done for the past three months.

The caterers say the period covers the whole of the second term, to some weeks in this third term, and yet, nothing has been paid to them to enable them pay the money they owe their food suppliers.

According to the caterers, their suppliers are now on their necks for their money, and yet the government is not paying them to enable them settle them. They say some of them do not have much food in their stores, and may discontinue their services for the children after last Friday, February 15, 2013.

Some affected areas are the Bolgatanga, Bongo and Kassena-Nankana East districts.

Caterers in these areas say they have been told to submit their claims documents for 37 working days out of the 70 days they cooked in the Second Term, which they did, but no communication on when and how they would get their money has been made to them.

Meanwhile, their counterparts in the Talensi and Nabdam districts claim they have not heard anything about the submission of claims documents for the 37 days. They say the government still owed some of them 19 working days, being arrears from the First Term of the 2012-2013 academic year.

Some of the caterers lamented that their suppliers had reported them after several attempts to claim their money failed. They are, therefore, threatening that after Friday, if they do not receive their money, they would also stop cooking for the children.

When the Regional Coordinator of the programme, Mr. Donatus Akamugri, was reached on the telephone, he said he had been out of the region for the past two months, and could not, therefore, comment on the issue. He rather directed this reporter to his monitoring officer, who could not also be reached.

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