The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection says the bureaucracy and delays in paying the caterers under the School Feeding Programme will soon be a thing of the past.
Hon. Lariba Zuweira Abudu recounted the reasons for the delays in paying the caterers, stating there is a long process involved.
“The school feeding payment has a procedure and sometimes it is the procedure that delays payment. When you take the stakeholders, we have Regional, district, communities, schools; we have Headteachers involved, we have assemblies involved and it has to go through all these processes”, she intimated.
To her, looking at the huge numbers involved in the programme as over 3 million school children are fed daily with over 30,000 caterers doing the cooking for over 10,000 schools across the nation, it will take a long of time to pay all of them under this bureaucratic procedure.
But the Minister, in an interview on Peace FM’s morning show “Kokrokoo” with Kwami Sefa Kayi, has assured the caterers they will no longer go through too many procedures before payment of their salaries.
She asked the caterers to heave a sigh of relief, revealing her Ministry has developed a software which will give them direct access without having to take a winding process before they are remunerated.
“The software is ready…Everybody is now going to be on that system,” she said, believing the software will facilitate the payment process and ensure quick access to the Ministry in addressing the financial challenges.
She, however, advised the caterers, particularly those who haven’t acquired a contract with the Ministry, to contact the Secretariat of the School Feeding Programme to capture them to avoid misunderstandings over their salaries.
“You need approval from the Secretariat or the Ministry before you can go ahead and cook,” she emphasized.
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