Free SHS food suppliers threaten to withdraw services over non payment

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Suppliers of foodstuff to the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) for the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) feeding programme are threatening to withdraw their supplies if monies owed them are not paid forthwith.

The Suppliers of foodstuff for the sustainability of the Free SHS Feeding programme who spoke to on condition of anonymity indicated that they have not been paid for supplies they made as far back as September/October 2019. They explained that usually, it takes about sixty (60) days for the Buffer Stock to make payments after they have supplied foodstuff to various Senior High Schools across the country.

“It takes time for the schools to give you their goods received vouchers and waybills which are supposed to be signed by the headmaster or headmistress, by the bursar, accountants and storekeepers. When you bring these documents to Buffer Stock, per the agreement, it takes them another sixty (60) days before they effect payment to you. So already, by the time you buy the goods off the market, the transportation of same to the schools, 90 days is already gone. If you don’t get all the signatories and you bring the documents to Buffer Stock, they will not pay you. We have brought all these documents and yet there are some outstanding for over ninety days” one of the Suppliers said.

The suppliers lament that the delayed payments are having a serious impact on their businesses and on their ability to continue supplying foodstuff to Senior High School in all sixteen regions of the country.

“There seem to be no effort to clear payment for the old stock. We think that if it continues, it can have an effect on the free SHS programme” one of the disgruntled suppliers stated.

The Suppliers are calling on the National Food Buffer Stock Company, the Finance Minister and Government to make good on their payment obligations to them in order to avert the collapse of the Fee SHS Feeding programme.

“We the suppliers are having meetings and we may come together and get u to the streets to protest for our money” one of the suppliers stated.

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