Deputy Education Minister, Rev. Ntim Fordjour

The National Association of Institutional Suppliers (NAIS) has revealed how some suppliers have lost their lives due to the government’s inability to pay off their one-year debt.

On Adom FM’s Burning Issues hosted by Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom, the National President of the Association, Stephen Oware, expressed grievances on how their materials manufactured in Ghana are being left to rot due to the inability to pay for supplies. He said they have not been paid back their monies for a period of one year now.

He disclosed that many of their members have lost their lives through pressure mounted on them by banks over loans taken by some suppliers to invest in the business.

“Some of our members have gone for loans to invest in this business. We have lost a lot of our members due to this pressure. We are dying, about five members are to be buried 5th February,” he revealed.

Despite the authorities, including Deputy Education Minister, Ntim Fordjour, pledging to address their challenges, he said nothing has been heard from them.

“We have had a meeting with authorities including the Deputy Education Minister, Rev. Ntim Fordjour and he promised to do something about it. He even gave us his number but since then we haven’t heard anything from him,” he said.

Kwaku Antwi Boasiako, who is the Organiser of the association, mentioned the school feeding programme as a major contributing factor to their plight.

He said instead of patronising the local materials manufactured by the suppliers for schools, the government rather patronises foreign materials for the free Senior High School (SHS) initiative.

He said some parents can afford to take care of their kids but are being covered with this initiative whilst the needy are left stranded.

They suggested that the government should limit it to only the tuition fee or if possible the needy for parents to cater for the rest of the bills. They believe this will pave way for parents to patronise their materials.

“In fact, the free SHS has come to help us and we are not against it as my son has even completed Achimota School with the help of this initiative. But it has been the cause of our plight; this is because the government goes in for materials that haven’t been customised leaving our books and materials to rot.

“There are a lot of parents like me who can support the government by way of the feeding and other bills but now it is only the rich who benefit with just a call which shouldn’t be so.

“We think it would be better if the government takes care of only the tuition fee and leave the rest of the fees to parents like me to pay because I can afford it or if possible allow only the needy to benefit,” they suggested.

According to Akua Mensah, who is a school feeding caterer, the government has not paid back their monies used previously on food for two terms, yet school has reopened.

She said the school feeding association has ordered caterers not to cook until the last caterer is paid.