Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Otiko Afisah Djaba has apologized to caterers working under the School Feeding Programme for the delay in payment of 2016/2017 arrears.
“The current School Feeding contracts will end this July 2017 and we can assure you that all arrears will be paid before then,” she said in a statement on Monday, May 15.
Earlier on Monday, some of the caterers picketed at the Gender Ministry, demanding their arrears in excess of GH¢114 million.
They usually pre-finance the cooking and are reimbursed later by government “and there are several government agencies involved in processing the payment of the arrears”.
“The government inherited an arrears of GH¢114.00m from the previous NDC administration for 75 cooking days for caterers in 2016,” the Gender Minister.
“There is the need for us to adhere to the strict governance process for the arrears to be paid and in spite of the competing demands for public funds, the Ministry of Finance has processed the release of the arrears for 2016 and for 2017.”
The Ministry has asked “all partners and stakeholders of the Ghana School Feeding Program to effectively expedite action to improve on the caterer payment situation”.
The statement reiterated the commitment by the government in settling arrears with the Programme, evidenced by the GH¢200 million out of the GH¢250 million allocation to the Ministry in the 2017 budget.
“Once again we apologise for any inconvenience caused,” the statement concluded.