Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has expressed disappointment in what he described as contradictory information he received from the School Feeding Programme.
The Speaker recently paid a working visit to the School Feeding Programme to familiarise himself with what they do.
His visit was to address issues of delays in the payment of caterers under the programme.
The Speaker said during his visit and his interaction with the National Coordinator, Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, in the presence of her management team, she (GSFP BOSS) bemoaned the Ministry of Finance’s inability to pay the caterers on time.
But forcefully insisted that the information in the public domain about the non-payment of caterers for a period of time was not accurate.
However, the Speaker says the details he received were not accurate,
But the Speaker has expressed disappointment in the GSFP programme for presenting inaccurate information.
” It was quite unfortunate to learn that some of these caterers who belong to the Islamic Faith could not embark on this year’s Holy Pilgrimage to Mecca because of the apparent undue delay in the payment of outstanding arrears for services rendered. This information contradicts the information given by the National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Program. This is unfortunate and unacceptable.”
On the issue of the Buffer Stock, the Speaker said ”Let me also state that there exist obvious gaps between what the National Food Buffer Stock Company claim to supply and the realities that are unfolding in the education sector, particularly in relation to Senior High Schools. The response to a July 7, 2022 publication by the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) in the Upper West Region, complained about the National Food Buffer Stock Company’s refusal to supply food items to Senior High Schools. I am aware that other regions face similar, if not worse, challenges”.
The Speaker then directed the issues to be probed by setting an ad-hoc committee.
”The aforementioned are unfortunately exacerbated by leaders’ lack of courage and political commitment to take bold and realistic decisions to enhance the welfare of the child. Let it not be said that we are part of the generation of leaders who supported this indecisiveness in standing for the protection and development of the child. If we are committed to dispelling this notion, the counter-narrative to this must begin with us.”
”Consequently, I am directing members of the following five Committees to investigate the activities of these two organizations and report to Parliament findings and recommendations on the feasibility, sustainability of the two programs before the end of October this year;
- Gender, Children and Social Protection
- Food and Agriculture, and