The Ghana National School Feeding Associations have alleged that there is a grand scheme at the Secretariat of the Ghana National School Feeding Programme (GNSFP) to milk the state for the personal gains of a few.
The associations alleged that as much as GH¢12 million had been paid to individuals in the name of 511 “ghost schools” for the 2019/2020 academic year.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the spokesperson of the associations, Caroline Aboagye, described the development at the Secretariat as an anti-government agenda, which must be stopped.
“Since the first term of the 2019/2020 academic year, the GNSFP has been paying schools which are not on the feeding programme.
“It is estimated that over GH¢12.9 million was paid to over 511 schools across the country which are not on the school feeding programme,” the spokesperson of the group, alleged.
Ms Aboagye said as many 139 schools in the Volta Region, 41 in the Ashanti, 43 in Eastern, 10 in Western North, 59 in Ahafo, 33 in Greater Accra, 11 in Western, nine in Bono, 30 in Central, 12 in Northern, 11 in Bono East, and five in the Upper West regions had been smuggled into the payment system of the feeding programme.
She, therefore, asked the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cause an investigation into the activities of the Coordinators and Directors at the Secretariat, the national, regional and district levels, to “end the looting of the public purse”.
“We call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Sarah Adjoa Safo, to order all appointees at both the National and Regional Secretariats of the school feeding programme to step aside for investigations to commence into their fraudulent activities.
“We know the President is incorruptible and corrupt people must not be allowed to dent his name and image. They must go,” Ms Aboagye said.
In her view, the current management of the programme had proved to be highly incompetent, corrupt and vindictive as it threatened caterers who voiced their grievances with contract termination.
According to Ms Aboagye, the new administration at the school feeding programme has relegated monitoring to the background, giving way for people to exploit the system to their personal benefit.
She bemoaned the lack of involvement of the local assemblies and the Ghana Education Service in the management of the programme, which, in her view, makes it difficult for monitoring, albeit deliberately.
“The secretariat needs overhauling because we can’t work with these corrupt officials. If the President doesn’t take any action, it will be hard for the NPP to break the eight-year jinx,” the spokesperson said.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI