Former National Women’s Organizer and Gender and Social Protection Minister of Ghana under the Akufo-Addo government, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, has issued a word of caution to the Secretariat of the Ghana School Feeding Programme, to desist from threatening the Caterers who are employed under the policy.

“…when you owe somebody you should be able to talk well to them. I am also giving a word of caution to the secretariat, they should not threaten anybody. The school feeding Caterers are change agents and assets of mother Ghana”, she said.

According to Madam Otiko, when a child is agitated, you should get closer to that child and talk to him, not shout or threaten them. In this case, she is calling for an engagement between the aggrieved caterers under the School Feeding Program and the government in order to put differences aside and have a working consensus. She believes the caterers are a workforce and an asset to the nation, so they need to be paid accordingly, just as other workers in the country.

Speaking on GTV’s Breakfast show, Madam Otiko, described the amount being paid to the caterers as an insult, looking at the degree of effort and money they invest in feeding schoolchildren across the country. She opined that, at least an amount of GHS 5 per child should be paid to the caterers. She added the humiliation and harassment caterers go through from their creditors because of lack of payment from the government is an eye sore and the government must appreciate them as needed.

Madam Otiko also defended the idea of employing NPP members into the School Feeding Programme saying, it is no crime for someone to belong to a political party and get employed into a governmental policy and therefore will not apologize for that.

She explained that, the majority of the aggrieved caterers were employed under his administration and therefore feels a big worry about their unpaid situation and the treatment meted out to them by the Secretariat.

She further mentioned that it is very important for our future leaders in the basic level of education to be given very nutritious and healthy food as they are young and therefore, with the current economic situation, it will be impossible for that to be realized taking into account the current GH 0.97p being paid to caterers.