Education Minister Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has assured that the government will pay the debt owed the Ghana National Food Buffer Stock Company.
He revealed in Parliament on Wednesday July 20 that government owes the company an amount of GH¢ 340 million but added that the government has already paid GH¢327 million to the Buffer Stock this year to enable them supply food to the schools.
“Government is working towards payment of this outstanding obligation,” he told Parliament.
The government was criticized for the food shortages in senior high schools.
For instance, the the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) said in a statement that the non-payment of arrears to the National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited to send food to the schools, was to blame for the shortage.
To overcome these difficulties, GNECC urged the government to pay the National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited to enable remedy the dire food shortages in the schools.
“The shortage of food has led to students resorting to some form of barter trading. Some students who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that they have only one meal a day.
“In some schools, dried fish are changed into powdered fish and small quantities are used to prepare stew and soup for the students. This situation is making it difficult for them to concentrate and learn.
“GNECC believes that the non-payment of arrears to the National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited to send food to Senior High Schools, is to be blamed for the current situation. To overcome these difficulties, GNECC urges the government to pay the National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited to enable remedy the dire food shortages in the schools.
“GNECC is encouraged by the Minister for Education’s guarantee that food will be provided to the impacted schools on Tuesday, 12th July, 2022 to address the problem.
“GNECC also urges the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, and the National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited to take measures to prevent this situation, which appears to be re-occurring. Besides, we are concerned about the seemingly firefighting approach to dealing with issues concerning the Free Senior High School, which undermine the implementation of the policy.
“We hope that the Minister of Education would ensure that in the interest of the poorest of the poor, for whose sake the policy was introduced, the declaration to provide money and food to the schools will be fulfilled so that our children, particularly those in the final year, can prepare for the forthcoming examinations without a looming threat of disruption.”