Suppliers of food to Buffer Stock Company add impurities to grains to gain weight – Apaak alleges

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Member of the Education and Public Accounts Committees of Parliament, Clement Apaak has alleged that food supplies to the Buffer Stock Company is used as a conduit for corruption largely because the contracts are given from Accra and are often given to party supporters and apparatchiks.

The Member of Parliament for Builsa South blamed Government’s inconsistencies in defraying its indebtedness to the buffer food stock and the unscrupulous selfish minded persons who have been given contracts and are using that avenue as a cash cow to shortchange the state, as well as not providing adequate wholesome and nutritious food items to feed school children for the food shortages in schools.

“We have instances where suppliers will provide quantities of food way below what the schools have been allocated and yet the headmasters have no avenue to seek redress and to complain. We have instances that buffer stock suppliers, some of them as unscrupulous as they are will add impurities to grains just to increase the weights” Clement Apaak alleged.

He further told Alfred Ocansey on 3FM Sunrise that aside the impurities, there are occasions that expired items such as; tin tomatoes, milk, and tin fish among others have been supplied to schools. It is a multi-pronged challenge that we are dealing with says the Member of Parliament

He has also raised some fundamental questions about why the Free Senior High School Programme is faced with so many challenges irrespective of the enormous funding and support it has received.

According to the MP for Builsa South, an amount of 2.3 billion had been approved for the FSHS program in the 2022 budget hence he can’t comprehend why the senior high schools are bedeviled with food shortage because of unpaid debts to buffer stock food suppliers.

“Government owes buffer food suppliers some five hundred million cedi and they were paid some two hundred million, and so with a budgetary allocation of 2.3 billion cedi, why do we still owe them?” Apaak asked

He pointed out that the issue is not limited to the government’s indebtedness to the buffer stock suppliers but also has to do with the quality and quantity of the food being supplied.

The MP suggests that the solution to this problem is to call for a review of the Free SHS programme entirely since the feeding issue is just one component of the myriad of challenges which include; inadequate teaching and learning materials, overcrowding, excess workload on teachers and inadequate infrastructure.

He also argued for a comprehensive forensic audit of the Free SHS programme or at least the area of food supplies.

By Samuel Afriyie Owusu||Ghana

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