Builsa South Member of Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak, has expressed concerns that schools may be forced to close down if the Food Suppliers under the Free Senior High School Programme are not paid their arrears by the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) by the end of this week.
Dr Apaak, who is also a ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that the arrears owed to the suppliers are promptly paid to enable them to continue supplying food to schools.
He questioned the delay in releasing the funds, emphasizing that the amount owed was not excessive and should have been covered by approved budgets.
“The President ought to step up to the plate and do the needful so that we don't have schools closed down by the end of this week if nothing is done,” Dr Apaak stated.
Food Suppliers, who have been protesting at NAFCO, have also voiced their concerns over the unpaid arrears. Koku Amedume, a spokesperson for the National Food Suppliers Association, highlighted the pressure they are facing, having taken loans from banks to meet the supply needs of the Buffer Stock.
Amedume further expressed worry about the accruing interest on their loans due to nonpayment by NAFCO.
“The pressure on us at home is massive. Most of these people go to contract loans from banks with huge interests with the sole aim of supporting their business and engaging in this supply business,” Amedume explained.
The suppliers are owed two years' arrears, and their continued nonpayment jeopardizes their ability to sustain the food supply to schools.