Some aggrieved caterers of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) have made a fierce demand on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to sack the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Sarah Adwoa Safo, for being “too incompetent”.
The caterers accused the Minister of not only sleeping on the job, but also demonstrating early signs of incompetence in the position assigned to her.
The caterers, who are fuming with excessive rage, accused the Minister of also scheming very hard to sabotage the current school feeding administration.
The Minister’s refusal to approve the payment of caterers’ outstanding arrears, they indicated, was an indirect ploy to instigate them [caterers ] against the school feeding management.
“We know who is causing the delay in paying caterers. We know who is making Nana Addo’s government unpopular. It is not the school feeding management but the Minister,” a leader of the concerned caterers who pleaded anonymity to avoid victimisation asserted.
“Some of us have gone as far as Finance Ministry, Controller and Accountant General and even the Presidency and we know the efforts made by school feeding secretariat to get caterers paid. But now where is Adwoa Safo to sign and order for our payment?” she wondered.
The caterers disclosed that the Ministry of Finance through the Controller and Accountant General has released funds for the caterers to be paid, but Madam Adwoa Safo had deliberately refused to sign the necessary release letters for the money to be transferred from the Bank of Ghana to the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS) to settle the caterers.
The government owes the school feeding caterers for the 1st term of the 2020/2021 academic year and the Minister, according to the caterers, had since not acted in good faith to ensure that the money was paid to them.
“Even though she is aware of the frustrations and the unfortunate attacks most of the caterers are going through in the hands of our suppliers and creditors, our Minister has not shown any concern or motherly love towards us. She doesn’t come to the office at all. And anytime you want to meet her she will refer you to her P.A. (Personal Assistant).”
They revealed that Sarah Adwoa Safo since the time of her inauguration by the President had consistently absented herself from the Gender Ministry; and only comes there at her own convenience.
This, they indicated, had delayed the payment process and also put a lot of limitations in the work of the school feeding secretariat.
“From all indications, Adwoa Safo is not fit for the job! She is very rude, she does not sit in the office, she does not listen to anybody apart from those who come to gossip to her. Do you know that she does not respect her Chief Director? And so, we are not surprised that she has refused to meet the school feeding management since she assumed office as Minister, in spite of their numerous attempts to meet her”.
The aggrieved caterers have therefore vowed that they will besiege the offices of the Ministry of Gender or fish the Minister out from her hideout if they did not receive their payment before Friday, August 20.
By Melvin Nana Boateng