Government urged to implement AGs recommendations on the School Feeding Programme

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Ghana, Accra, Kokomlemle, 2007. Accra New Town Primary School students join with the older kids in a practice march for Ghana's Independence Day.

Wa, Aug. 22, GNA – SEND Ghana has called on government to immediately implement the Auditor General’s (AGs) recommendations on the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) in order to ensure efficiency in the implementation of the programme.

It said the report uncovered among others, bloated enrolment figures, duplication of schools and payments of grants to non-existent caterers in the 2017-2018 academic years as well as unsubstantiated and unsupported transactions which resulted in the loss of millions of public funds.

SEND Ghana made the call in statement signed by Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, Deputy Country Director, and copied to the Ghana news Agency in Wa.

It said in 2018, investigations by the National Security established financial malpractices in the management of the GSFP resulting in the suspension of the National Coordinator pending investigations.

The statement said the National Coordinator and his outfit are alleged to have perpetuated “fraudulent deals” including inflating enrolment figures of some schools under the GSFP and the payment of monies to caterers without assigned schools.

It said after the news broke, SEND Ghana granted media interviews and called on government to punish the culprits and enhance its monitoring mechanisms if it needed to win the war against widespread irregularities in the implementation of the policy.

“Unfortunately, eight months into the suspension, nothing significant has happened beyond the setting up of an independent committee to carry out further investigations”, it said.

The statement said the findings of their 2017 report titled: “Who is monitoring? A potential financial leakage in the GSFP”, are not different from the December 2018 National Security investigation and the AGs report released recently.

It said SEND Ghana is of the view that if government had taken swift action to institute appropriate measures, including implementing suggested policy recommendations it suggested, it would have helped to avert the continued financial malfeasance and wanton dissipation of funds, perpetuated by self-seeking few, at the expense of the many poor and vulnerable children.

“SEND Ghana believes in the potential of the GSFP to accelerate Ghana’s quest towards the attainment of universal basic education for all children and, hereby, calls on government to crack the whip in bringing all culprits to book, in the supreme interest of the country”, the statement said.

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