Minority Caucus Clashes With Agric Minister Over Unpaid Food Suppliers Picketing At NAFCO

The Minority in Parliament guided by their leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson stepped into the office of the Minister of Food and Agriculture Bryan Acheampong on Friday, July 7 to demand explanations as to why the picketing food suppliers have not been paid their arrears.

The other minority lawmakers who accompanied their leader were Juabosso MP, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ellembelle MP Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Adaklu MP Kwame Agbodza.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators had gone to the office of the National Food Buffer Stock Company where the food suppliers had been sleeping for the past three days to request the payment of their arrears.

Bryan Acheampong was disappointed with the mode and manner his colleague legislator had engaged him.

“You are a former Deputy Finance Minister, what do you know about these payments? What do you know about payments that have been delayed,” an unhappy Bryan told Ato Forson.

“…This is not the route to solve this problem. This inorganic picketing should not be accepted and encouraged,” the Abetifi MP summed up.

In reaction to him, Mintah Akandoh told him “You should be the last person to get angry, we are finding a solution.”

Considering the arrears, the management of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has conceded its indebtedness to food suppliers which has resulted in the picketing.

The organization scheduled an emergency meeting and decided to pay these food suppliers by July 17.

“NAFCO acknowledges its indebtedness to its cherished suppliers. The company sympathizes with them in this unfortunate situation they find themselves in which has compelled them to picket at our head office premises. The company is equally concerned about their plight and appreciates their patience.

“An emergency board meeting has been scheduled on the situation and the outcome including a possible roadmap for resolution will be shared thereafter,” a statement issued by the company on Thursday, July 6 said.

The picketing food suppliers said that they were owed two years’ arrears.

A representative for the National Food Suppliers Association Koku Amedume uttered that this problem is placing pressure on them because they took loans from banks to allow them to meet the supply needs of the Buffer Stock.

Appearing on TV3 Tuesday, July 4 on the Ghana Tonight Show with Alfred Ocansey, Amedume implied that the suppliers who spent the night at the premises of the NAFCO as part of the demonstration are more comfortable sleeping at the premises of NAFCO than sleeping in their homes because of the pressure on them.

He also said they are nervous about the interest being accrued on the loans they took because of the nonpayment by NAFCO.

“The pressure on us at home is massive. Most of these people go to contract loans from banks with huge interests with the sole aim of supporting their business and engaging in this supply business.

“Buffer stock had taken supplies from them for two years, for two years we have not been paid,” he mentioned.

© 2023 • Story By Edem Latsu Nukafu
Writer’s email: edemlatsu093@gmail.com


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