The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO), has admitted to contracting the services of 99 unlicensed companies to supply food under the Free Senior High School Policy in 2017 and 2018.
The company argues that the services of these unlicensed firms were contracted in an emergency situation as licensed companies failed to supply the needed food items within specific time frames.
The Auditor-General’s Department in its 2020 report, indicted NAFCO for engaging the services of these firms.
“We noted from our review of the cost of sales and accounts payable that 43 entities to whom payments were made for the purchase of white maize and other supplies totalling GH¢12,347,402.97 [in 2017] were not on the list of LBCs obtained from the company’s operations team.”
“We noted from our review of the cost of sales that a sampled of 56 Companies to whom payments were made for the purchase of white maize and food supplies totalling GH¢30,360,044.00 [in 2018] were not on the list of LBCs obtained from the Company’s operations team.”
However, the Chief Executive Officer of NAFCO, Hanan Abdul Wahab, in a Citi News interview said the suppliers, whose services are still being engaged, have since been registered under the required statutory agency.
“It is true that we have issued a number of licences to suppliers to supply various food items to schools under the Free SHS policy. To our disappointment most of them couldn’t deliver because they were expecting some mobilisation from the government. So we had to fall back on the headmasters again for them to organise their local suppliers within their catchment areas to supply them.”
“…Looking at the emergency nature of the business that we are engaged in, we asked them to get them to supply the food to their various schools and get the suppliers to come to Accra to do the necessary registration which they have to pay GHS500 for registration and GHS1,000 for license fees respectively, but that was not done at the time of supply, and right after the supply they came to do them.”
The National Food Buffer Stock Company Limited was incorporated under the Companies Code of Ghana, 1963, Act 179 on 11th March 2010.
It is a limited liability company, wholly owned by the government of Ghana. The company is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company.
The CEO is assisted by other Directors and Managers.
Among other functions, NAFCO purchases excess produce of maize, paddy rice, and soya beans from farmers, preserves, sells, and distributes these foodstuffs to state institutions. It is also in charge of the government Emergency Food Programme.