The Minority has demanded an investigation into the activities of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NFBSC) in relation to food items supplied to Senior High Schools (SHS) under the free SHS policy.
According to Minority Ranking Member for Education, Mr Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, the NFBSC has been engaging in certain procurement procedures which are fundamentally alien to the Public Procurement (Amendment Act), 2016, (Act 914) or any other law of the country.
In a press statement, Mr Nortsu-Kotoe who is also Member of Parliament for Akatsi North said, “NFBSC selects companies to supply food items to Senior High Schools for first year students without recourse to any law.”
He listed a number of ways the NFBSC had breached the procurement laws and quizzed that: “The NFBSC gives its waybill to the selected companies as delivery vehicles for food items to the assigned schools – why?”
The reasons, he said includes, some schools not receiving food items from the selected companies for the first term, some almost at the end of the first term, while other have had to buy food items on credit to feed the first year students.
He attributed the issues associated to the free SHS to the corruption practices emanating from the dubious arrangement with NFBSC by the NPP government to supply food to Senior High Schools
The Minority Ranking on Education further questioned how schools are going to operate when at the close of the first term of 2017/18 academic year, they do not know how much of the 80% of school funds are available to aid them in their planning and budgeting functions.
Currently, he said all Senior High Schools have been directed to forward all invoices for the supply of school uniform, house vests, PE dresses, School cloth to GES for direct payment to the vendors.
For that reason, the Akatsi North lawmaker, is demanding an immediate reversal of government’s engagement of the NFBSC to supply food items through selected companies to Senior High Schools for in his view, “the procedure adopted is in clear breach of public procurement laws and prone to abuse and corruption.”
He said, the worrying issues that naturally have arisen and begs for immediate resolution, are as to whether the National Food Buffer Stock Company entitled to operate outside the remit of the Public Procurement Law, per section 14(1)(a), (b) and (2) of Act 914.
In addition, the Minority MP said there was the need to know whether the National Food Buffer Stock Company under the Ministry of MOFA, “is a procurement entity in law and if it is, it should be known as to if it has been empowered to procure food supplies for schools under the GES?”
Further, Mr Nortsu-Kotoe said, the Minority and Ghanaians would also want to know if there was a supply contract between the selected companies and the NFBSC and if yes, how was the bidding process done, was it sole sourcing, restrictive tendering or competitive bidding.
All these unanswered question, he said demand a full scale investigation into the activities of NFBSC as some appointees of the government have turned the company into a milking cow at the burden of the tax payer.
He therefore called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to as a matter of transparency cause an investigations to be carried out in relation to the breach of public procurement laws by the NFBSC and all culprits sanctioned accordingly.