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General News of Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Source: 3news.com

School Feeding Programme shrugs off corruption allegations

Some beneficiaries of the school feeding programme Some beneficiaries of the school feeding programme

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) has described as “palpably false, frivolous, unfounded and malicious” claims that the current leadership is corrupt.

“It was only calculated to tarnish the image of the leadership of GSFP and bring the name of the secretariat into disrepute,” a newspaper rejoinder issued by the Programme on Tuesday, September 28 insisted.

This comes in the wake of a publication in the Weekend Crusading Guide on Saturday, September 10, quoting one Madam Caroline Aboagye, with the headline ‘School Feeding Needs Overhauling’ that leadership of the Programme is not transparent in its dealings with caterers and other stakeholders.

“We wish to put on record that the current leadership of GSFP is not corrupt,” the rejoinder signed by Siiba Alfa, the Head of Public Relations, said.

“In fact, the corruption allegation levelled by one Madam Caroline Aboagye who claims to be the PRO for a group called ‘Ghana National School Feeding Caterers Association’ against the leadership of GSFP is only a figment of her imagination since she woefully failed to adduce any speck of evidence to support her monstrous allegations.

“We believe, it is rather Madam Aboagye who needs a thorough overhauling, not the GSFP Secretariat.”

It continued: “We have a very transparent payment process that conforms with standard public financial procedures.

“Thus, the feeding aspect of the programme has a separate account, which is lodged at the Bank of Ghana in the name of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP).

“The National Secretariat of GSFP only facilitates payment by coordinating the process which involves the Ministry of Finance, Controller and Accountant Generals Department, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and finally, the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) which electronically transfers the feeding grants to caterers on their e-zwich cards.

“Given this robust structure, it is extremely difficult if not impossible for the GSFP leadership to divert funds meant for feeding to be used for private gains.”

It indicated that until the publication, the national secretariat was not aware of the association.

“We emphasize again that as far as GSFP implementation rules and regulations were concerned, we did not and would not sanction the formation of any association under the programme and so if any caterer or group of caterers claim to have an association, then they are merely exercising their constitutional right, but they should avoid using the programme to secure credibility for their selfish interest.”

The Programme requested that the newspaper gives the rejoinder “the needed urgency and prominence to correct the wrong impression that was created about this important national programme, which exists to serve the children and farmers of our dear nation Ghana.”

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