7000 school feeding caterers of the School Feeding Programme who cook for public basic schools across the 16 regions of Ghana has been paid duly by the Government.
Over 7000 school feeding caterers were paid in order to prevent payment delays, the Ghana School Feeding Program National Secretariat was instructed to begin working on paying for the first year of the academic year 2019-20.
The payment made covered the third term of the 2018/19 academic year. This was confirmed by Hon. Mrs. Cynthia Morrison Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
“So everyone is expected to receive payment today, [Thursday, November 28] as has been confirmed by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement systems limited (GHIPSS),” the minister told the media on Thursday.
The minister admitted that delays in payment have created challenges due to data discrepancy and management of caterers with contracts and without contracts.
However, the delays were also to ensure the fund is not paid to the wrong people. Gov’t pays school feeding caterers after they have pre-financed the project for a term or more.
She advised caterers with contracts, particularly those who went through the just-ended verification by the Youth Employment Agency would receive their money through their banks. She noted also that that GHIPSS would not issue any alerts to them.
Hon. Morrison also stated that the school feeding information is now being thoroughly cleaned to fix the real issue of people who are not feeding schoolchildren because of their lack of capital credit supplies.
“Rice, beans, and maize were agreed on to be supplied by the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) for the feeding of children in the schools
“We need to list them so it would be hard for them to be charged without accurate data because transactions from source would be done so that we need exact information for the Buffer Stock.”
“All those with contract letters have been paid. Phase two is those without contract letters but had received payment previously. Their money is available but because they are not in our records, the Chief of Staff has been given their list to finalize how they are going to be paid,” she assured, reiterating that the Ministry of Finance has already released the money.
It hoped that, the challenges of the past will not surface again and that the government will promptly release funds for the smooth running of the program now that over 7000 school feeding caterers have been paid.