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Regional News of Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Source: Edmond Gyebi

Government releases GHC110 million to settle GSFP caterers

The Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has released an amount of One Hundred and Ten Million Forty Nine Thousand and Seventy Seven Ghana Cedis (GHC110,049,077) as payment to caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) for the first term of the 2018/2019 academic term.

A statement issued and signed by the Acting Director of Operations at GSFP, Mrs. Doris Y. Gaba, the Ministry of Finance has released the funds to the Gender Ministry for payment for 51 out of 71 cooking days to caterers before the end of February 2019.

“In order to streamline the payment schedule, MoGCSP through GSFP will release payment for fifty-one (51) cooking days instead of seventy- one (71) cooking days. The payment of the 51 days will be released to Caterers before the close of February 2019”.

The statement indicated that there would not be any deductions from source to MASLOC and rice suppliers from the amount that would be paid to the caterers. “The outstanding twenty (20) days owed by GSFP to caterers will be paid when funds are received from the Ministry of Finance. In view of this, this current payment will not be affected by MASLOC and rice deductions”.

However, GSFP apologized to the Caterers for the delay in payment of feeding grants for the first term of the 2018/2019 academic year.

The statement explained that the delay was caused by the “strict governance processes in the releasing of funds by the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the delay in the collation of data from some regions and districts.

According to the statement, payments would be made to only caterers whose data (hard copy) had been signed and submitted by their Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives as at February 12, 2019.

“The following isolated cases are being investigated before payment is made: Schools with enrolment differences of more than 100 between third term of the 2017/2018 academic year and first term of 2018/2019 academic year. Schools without any previous records on the third term payment file for the 2017/2018 academic year”.

MoGCSP and GSFP regretted any inconveniences caused by the delay and thanked all the Caterers for their patience.