The National Co-ordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Alhaji Suleman Abdul Rahman on Friday expressed the need for government to set up a fund to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
“Donors of the programme will not provide the money forever,” he said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
Alhaji Rahman who chalked out his first 100 days in office noted that the popularity of the programme is indicated by the number of communities making regular demands to be part of it.
“I will therefore write to Cabinet through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for the setting up of the fund,” he said.
He said his outfit was in contact with the private sector as part of the vision to sustain the programme.
“The GSFP is talking to MTN to establish a call in programme dubbed ‘Feed a child a day’, to support the programme. We are also in contact with Unilever Ghana for the supply of detergents and other products.”
Alhaji Rahman said plans were in place to cover all the rural areas with the programme, adding: “In 2020 every child of school going age will be hooked to the system.”
He said the GSFP was suffering from structural paralysis, compelling the Dutch Embassy, which represents the Queen of Holland, main sponsors of the programme to withdraw the sponsorship.
Alhaji Rahman said the situation had been streamlined, leading to the renewed confidence of donors in the programme.
He said administrative lapses such as non payment of withholding taxes to the Internal Revenue Service had been rectified whilst those appointed without the prerequisite qualifications were asked to leave.
The National Co-ordinator said the programme was organising a head count to ensure the proper management of the programme and how many children are being fed to prevent money being diverted into individual pockets.
“We are abiding by the procurement law whilst an internal auditor is in place. Monitoring and Evaluation is now a major policy of the programme.
“The programme will employ a number of staff nationwide to be in charge of monitoring and evaluation. District and school implementation committees will soon be inaugurated to overlook the implementation of the GSFP in the districts.”
Alhaji Rahman said there was an awareness programme in place to sensitise the actors and collaborators of the GSFP on the aims and objectives of the programme.
“There is also a social accountability project that subjects the programme to public scrutiny.
Alhaji Rahman assured caterers of the programme that henceforth they would be paid in time to avert the problems they go through.
He said he would abide by the mandate of the programme to feed the pupils with locally produced food to boost school enrolment, promote the health of the beneficiaries and ensure that the farmers got ready market for their produce.