Claims that all school feeding caterers are NPP members is false – Gender Minister

Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, has refuted allegations that all caterers participating in the government’s School Feeding Programme are members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Dorothy Ofori Sarpong, the spokesperson for the caterers in the Ashanti Region, claimed in a recent interview on Eyewitness News that all caterers eng

aged in the program, including the leadership, are affiliated with the NPP.

When questioned about these claims on the Face to Face program hosted by Umaru Sanda Amadu on Citi TV, Lariba Zuweira Abudu stated that she was unaware of such assertions. Furthermore, she explained that it is practically impossible for her to ascertain the political affiliations of the numerous caterers contracted under the program.

Also Read: School feeding caterers reject GH¢1.20 increment per child

“I’m not aware. Do you normally believe all those stories? I’m dealing with 30,860 caterers. How do I know their party affiliations? I sit here, and some ladies come to me with problems, and I know they are known National Democratic Congress members. It’s not true. This programme was advertised. You apply, we shortlist you, we make you go through medicals, and then we hire you and give you a contract of two years.

During the discussion, Lariba Zuweira Abudu suggested a GH¢1.20 increase, but the caterers, who have been on strike since schools reopened, argue that the government’s offer is insufficient and unacceptable.

“Everybody belongs to a particular party. I’m hiring a number of people. How will I know that all these coming are from one party? She may be anybody who just wants to muddy the waters. I don’t want to believe what she’s saying. Anybody can just phone in and talk as if they are a party member. Maybe she’s not, who knows? Maybe she’s also trying to play her cards well,” she added.

Also Read: School feeding: Cost per meal per day for a child increased from GHS0.97p to GHS1.20

on the issue of arrears of the caterers and the proposed GH¢1.20 increment, she said, “We are just owing 2022 third term. We have paid the first and second terms. I hear them saying we owe them 2017 and 2018. We asked them to bring their documents. When we look at the documents, and they are correct, we just pay. Some of them don’t even have contracts. There are issues they themselves know. Some of them the figures they give are not realistic. We paid the arrears on June 6, except for those who have issues. I’m happy that some of them are cooking in the Northern, Ashanti, Greater Accra regions, and elsewhere.”

The disgruntled caterers are demanding a payment of GH¢3.50 per child before they will end their strike.

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