The National Food Suppliers Association has disclosed that the government still owes members of the association a little over GH¢300 million in arrears for food supplied to various senior high schools across the country.
In a display of discontent, aggrieved members of the association gathered at the premises of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCo) on the 18th of August, demanding for the disbursement of their outstanding arrears of about GHc 200 million, covering services rendered for the year 2022.
The suppliers began days of picketing at the Buffer Stock premises in July after months of appealing to the government for their arrears to be paid to help them continue to be in business. They later expressed disappointment after only a partial payment was made to them.
Speaking to reporters, a spokesperson for the food suppliers association, Kwaku Amedume, said besieging of NAFCo’s premises was to demand their arrears, which have been losing value over the two years that they have been owed.
“When we picketed the last time, the government was able to raise GH¢100 million to be disbursed to members with the promise that they were going to get us the balance on August 17. So what happened was that some of our members approached the buffer stock to enquire about how far they were preparing to settle us. We went into a meeting with them [on August 18] and the information was that the Ministry of Education has released GH¢80 million to be disbursed to the suppliers and that will bring up the total payment for 2022 to GH¢180 million representing about 85 percent of the total arrears owed suppliers.”
“We still have 2023 arrears that range a little around 300 million Ghanaian cedis that they have promised to do something about it in two weeks’ time, and so we actually went to the Buffer Stock to find out when we were going to be paid.”