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General News of Monday, 15 May 2017

Source: Class FM

School Feeding: Caterers picket Gender Ministry

Caterers employed under the National School Feeding Programme on Monday 15 May picketed the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection over government's failure to pay monies owed them since July 2016.

The caterers, from all 10 regions of the country, said the move had become necessary since government’s indebtedness to them was impeding their operations.

The Public Relations Officer of the caterers, Maame Yaa Duodua Appiah Korang, said the old administration owed them 75 cooking days while the NPP administration owed them from January to May.

According to her, although government claimed to have released GHS1million to offset some of the debt, the money had not reached them.

“This morning, we are here to see the Minister to talk about the money owed us the caterers, that is why we are here in our numbers. They owe us from June/July 2016 to May 2017, which is almost a year,” she told Class News’ Mercy Akrofi.

“In February 2017, when we met the Minister [Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba], she assured of paying us the old debt the old administration left, which was 100 cooking days. But she paid 25 days, so they owe us 75 days. And this administration too, from January to May, they owe us and that is 71 days and it is affecting us because we are not getting money to cook for the children… We are not getting funds from anywhere. the banks have refused to give us loans because our monies don’t come through them but through mobile money and MTN is not a financial institution, we can’t borrow money from them and we can’t go back to our creditors for loan.”

Ms Korang claimed government said it had released GHS1million to clear some of the arrears before schools reopened but they still haven’t received any money.

They said should government refuse to pay them, they will have no option than to stop cooking until at least some arrears are cleared.

They also called on the ministry to have dialogue with them as there has never been a meeting or any form of discussion between them.