Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum

The National Association of Institutional Suppliers has debunked the Ministry of Education’s claim that arrears owed the association have been settled.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Education, on April 15, it announced that the Government has disbursed Ghc26 million to the Institutional Suppliers, responsible for the supply of school uniforms, P.E kits, and stationery, among others.

In an interview with Citi News, the Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Institutional Suppliers, Emmanuel Ayivor confirmed, on the said date, that the Education Ministry has begun disbursing payments in efforts to settle arrears to the association.

However, in a statement released by the Institutional Suppliers on Tuesday, May 7, the group asserted that the promise made by the ministry to settle the arrears remains unfulfilled. It also stated that the ministry disbursing a total of Ghc26 million is a false claim.

“The Ministry’s promise to settle all outstanding payments to suppliers, particularly for the years 2021-2022, by April 10, 2024, remains unfulfilled. Many of our members have not received any payment”.

“The Ministry’s assertion that a total of GHC26 million has been disbursed to pay arrears owed to suppliers of uniforms, PE kits, and stationery is misleading”, the letter stated.

The Association has also clarified that no member of their association has been awarded a contract to make supplies of P.E kits and uniforms to school children, and thereby has no knowledge of the identity of the association or persons responsible for the contract.

“It must be noted that for the past seven years when the award of contracts for the supply of PE Kits and stationery was moved from the school level to the ministry level, suppliers of the PE kits and stationery have remained anonymous and are not members of our association.

“Shockingly, not a single member of our association has been awarded a contract for the supply of PE kits and stationery for the past seven years. It, therefore, appears that a substantial portion of the GHC26 million has gone to their own cronies,” the statement added.

The National Association of Institutional Suppliers also averred that the settling of arrears has taken a selective approach, thus posing a challenge in identifying the payments made to members of the association.

“Another worrying situation is that according to the ministry’s records, some suppliers have been marked as paid when they have not actually received payment. Upon inquiry, it has been discovered that their invoices are missing.

“This exacerbates the issue, leading to inaccurate claims of payment by the Ministry. In light of these revelations, we call upon the ministry to urgently fulfil its commitment to pay all outstanding arrears without further delay.

“Additionally, we urge the ministry to implement a transparent and systematic payment process to enhance tracking of payments made to members” the statement which was signed by the National Secretary, Amoah Talhir and the Vice President of the Association, Dr. George Adjei-Henne read.