Members of NAFSA chanting war songs in demand of their arrears
A rise in commodity prices on the market has caused the National Food Suppliers Association (NAFSA) to appeal to the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) and the Ministry of Education to pay the interest on arrears owned the Association since June 2022.
According to the food suppliers who demonstrated with placards that read, “Buffer stock has devalued our money. Pay us with interest” Pay us with our money for peace to prevail “among others stated that the managers of buffer stock for 18 months have failed to pay for various food items supplied to secondary schools under the government-free SHS program.
The group added that a 100kg bag of maize and beans which cost GH¢120 and GH¢500 in 2022 now cost GH¢600 and GH¢1,000 respectively. Similarly, a carton of milk that was GH¢72 now sells at GH¢ 192.
“We are asking buffer stock managers to pay us interest on the money they owe since June 2022. Taking the prices of commodities that have increased recently, without interest we will not be able to stay in business as banks are on our necks to take over properties and assets.
Speaking with journalists at a press conference in Accra, spokesperson for NAFSA, Bernard Kweku Amedume said several attempts have been made by members of the association to have their monies paid to them but all have proven unsuccessful.
“Following several letters addressed to the Office of the Chief of Staff, Education ministry, and NAFCO they have given us promises upon promises of plans and arrangements but none of those promises have been fulfilled,” he said.
Mr. Amedume also noted that a follow-up visit to the Ministry of Education revealed that it paid over 90% of the money to the buffer stock company. However, buffer stock also denied the government’s allegations of payment.
The suppliers have given Buffer stock a 14-day deadline to settle all arrears or it will result in picketing at the company premises since they have decided to contract new suppliers to run it business.
BY Prince Fiifi Yorke