The School Feeding Secretariat is appealing to the aggrieved caterers to reconsider their position and resume cooking for the schools.
The Head of Public Relations at the Ghana School Feeding Secretariat, Alfa Siiba informed Alfred Ocansey on 3FM Sunrise Morning show that those caterers who claim they don’t have money to cook for the school children should come to the secretariat for support.
He is worried that some of the School Feeding Caterers have still refused to cook for the pupils even though the secretariat has assured them of payment of the arrears the government owes them.
Mr Siiba admitted “In fact we have to say some of them are cooking and others are not. They are saying until we are able to pay them the areas, they will not cook even though we have assured them severally that we are working on it assiduously to ensure funds are available to pay them”
“There are two terms’ payment outstanding, that is the third term of 2021 and first term 2022 academic years. For the 3rd Term 2021 arrears is about GHS 234 million and we want to pay it first then we will do the 2022 first term later”
“For years we have always depended on the assurances we receive from the Controller and Accountant General Department whenever there are issues of arrears, and they always give us assurances and they honor them. That is why we are still basing on their assurances because they have never failed us.”
He expressed that unfortunately the money to pay the caterers is not sitting at the secretariat to pay them even if the secretariat wishes to do so. Alfa Siiba further stated that per the contract, the caterers are supposed to pre-finance and get paid later so it is normal that they are owed.
When the PRO was asked whether the contracts of the caterers who have refused to cook for the schools will have their contracts abrogated, he said “no we are not going to abrogate it; we are not going to pay them for the days they did not cook”
Mr. Siiba urged the caterers who have resolved not to cook until the feeding grant is increased to reconsider cooking for the schools while the secretariat engages the stakeholders on the payment of arrears and the request for upward adjustment of the amount allocated for the feeding of each student.
”It is not within us to increase. We also have to engage our stakeholders’ firsts. Before their agitation we had submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to request for upward adjustment. We’ve given them feedback that the adjustment is been considered and we optimistic that the outcome will be favorable for all of us” he iterated
By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana