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The National Secretariat of the Ghana School Feeding Programme has asked Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to stop terminating contracts of caterers under the programme and awarding same to new persons without the approval of the Secretariat.
According to the Secretariat, some MMDCEs had unilaterally terminated contracts and in some cases reallocated beneficiary schools to some caterers in their respective assemblies.
Speaking to Citi News, the Public Relations Officer for the Ghana School Feeding Program, Siiba Alfa asked the MMDAs to end the practice.
“If they have any issue with the caterers’ contract, they should resort to us or they should consult us and see how best we can resolve the situation rather than they the MMDAs taking the unilateral decision to take away the contract or reallocate these schools to different caterers when we are not aware because there are repercussions for some of these things,” he noted.
He added that the secretariat will soon be visiting the various schools to standardize the contracts of the caterers.
“...And so these are some of the reasons why we say no, they should hold on. We are preparing to come on the field and regularize the caterers’ contracts so before that we are not giving the mandate to any institution to do that,” he said.
On September 5, 2019, some caterers of the School Feeding Programme in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region accused the Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Isahaku Moomin Tahiru of abrogating their contracts without recourse to the managers of the programme.
Addressing the media, a former NPP Deputy Constituency Women’s Organizer, Ibrahim Hanatu, who is the Vice-Chairperson for the Wa Municipal School Feeding Caterers Association, called on the leadership of the NPP and the Ghana School Feeding Programme to intervene.
“We want to plead. We have been promised that they have jobs for us but we want to state that the school feeding has helped us and our families. We are able to educate our children. Don’t let us be discouraged because that can lead to our defeat. Give back our contracts so we can feel appreciated. We are so sad about this development. Let it be communicated to the leadership from regional to national that if the feeding programme is taken from us, it will cost them a possible defeat,” she warned.
The Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Isahaku Mumeen Tahiru, confirmed the authenticity of a letter which was given to the caterers, notifying them of the termination of their contracts but said it was to avoid procurement breaches between the assembly and the caterers.
Meanwhile, a letter issued on the 6th of August and signed by the National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme, Gertrude Quashigah, has directed all MMDAs not to appoint new caterers or terminate the contracts of existing ones.
It says “the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection together with the School Feeding Programme secretariat will collaborate with MMDAs to re-engage and appoint caterers for the 2019/2020 academic year.”
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