Gov’t pays GH¢188m for school feeding

Nana Oye Lithur(standing) addressing the meet the press.Photo.Ebo Gorman (3)Government has paid GH¢188,307,266 to cover the outstanding amount owed caterers of the School Feeding Programme for the 2014/2015 academic year.

It is the first time a sitting government has settled the debts, with only the last term’s (three month) yet to be cleared.

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, disclosed this in Accra yesterday when her ministry took its turn at the Meet-the-Press series.

She said the programme was one of the best interventions that had retained a number of children in school and there was no way that it would be allowed to collapse as it was being speculated.

She indicated that new things were being implemented to boost its operation, saying very soon, beneficiaries of the programme would use cards as and when they were served.

The new electronic payment, she said, would help give accurate number of children served among other things.

Nana Oye said the programme had also created jobs for a number of people; for instance, 10,913 farmers and market women had been rolled onto the programme which had directly created jobs for them.

She said following the successful implementation of the programme, a number of countries had come to Ghana to under study how it was being run.

On the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme, the Minister said it had increased from a base of 71,936 households in 100 districts in 2013, to 213,843 households in 216 districts as at August this year.

The figure, she said, represented an increase of 196 per cent, with 213,843 households translated into 855,372 individual beneficiaries.

She said there had been consistent payments from November 2013 to August this year, adding that the LEAP grant had increased by 22 per cent from an average of GH¢36 to an average of GH¢44.

She said GH¢3.9 million had also been disbursed to support 10,274 households that were affected by the rain disaster.

Nana Oye noted that 751 women who were accused of witchcraft in Gambaga, Kukuo, Nabuli among others were also assisted with LEAP.

According to her, 405 inmates of the Nkanchina, Ho, Ankaful, Cape Coast and the Weija Leprosarium were also paid their LEAP grants.

The Minister also touched on other things the ministry had achieved over the years including the registration of some inmates of the various prisons on the National Health Insurance Scheme, the refurbishment of some of their infirmaries, provisions for the aged and the rescue of teenagers in South Africa who were trafficked there under the guise to play football among others.

 

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour

 

 

 

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