School feeding caterers in the East Akim municipality of the Eastern Region are the latest to bare their teeth at government its inability to settle outstanding debts owed them. The affected caterers have therefore given a one week ultimatum to the government to settle all arrears owned them or embark on a naked demonstration against the Gender Ministry.
Madam Grace Nkansah, president of the caterers in the municipality, threatened their readiness to embark on the nude protest to register their displeasure about what they called unfair treatment, to send their plight across the world.
“The government must pay all of our delayed monies owed us. We have not been fairly treated and we will never feel ashamed showing our private parts to the world to see,” she told ritefmonline.org’s Austin Ofori Addo in an interview.
According to the aggrieved woman, even though payments of the outstanding caterers have been outstanding for a long time, they are being asked to reapply upon the expiration of their respective contracts.
“They owe us since first term till date and they have not payed us after our contracts expired and now, they are demanding that we reapply for new contracts when we have not been paid our outstanding debt,” the angry woman lamented.
She added that though they were invited for interviews on their prospective new contracts, they were not paid their arrears while new caterers have been employed, adding that their beef was not about the contracts given to the new caterers.
Madam Nkansah who said they badly need the money to provide for their children said the assembly has succeeded in paying only 22 out of the 125 days owed them.
Caterers employed under the Ghana school feeding programme on Monday besieged the premises of the Gender ministry in Accra as they demand the full payment of their arrears.
The caterers threatened to stage a demonstration if their monies were not paid in full by the Akufo-Addo government.
Last week, government released GHC21 million to cater for seven days out of the over 100 days it owes the caterers.
The women, however, claim that government’s decision to pay them in bits is engulfing them in debts as they borrowed monies to start the project, which was intended to be pre-financed.
The Gender minister Otiko Djaba has given the assurance that efforts are being made by government to pay the outstanding debts owed the women, whose contracts have been terminated since May this year.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme has been ongoing since 2005, with the aim to provide pupils in public basic schools with one hot nutritious meal every day.
Source: By Austin Ofori Addofirstname.lastname@example.org