THE Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, has urged metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) in the region to attach more importance to the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).
He said any lukewarm attitude on the part of the assemblies would create problems for the smooth running of the programme.
Mr Opoku-Manu made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr E.O. Kusi-Appiah, at a day’s workshop on accounting systems in the GSFP in Kumasi.
He said the central government had shown commitment to growing the programme so it was incumbent on the assemblies to support the government to deliver in the interest of the nation.
The workshop, organised by the Ashanti Regional office of the GSFP, was attended by MMDCEs, finance officials in the districts and other officers of the programme.
Mr Opoku-Manu stated that when the government took over the administration of the county, the programme was bedevilled with a number of problems, including unpaid arrears to caterers.
“Now all arrears the government inherited have been paid, a situation that has motivated caterers to work even harder,” he said.
The regional minister said the government had also given approval for the expansion of the programme, adding that 324,348 more children would be added to the current figure of 657,624.
He commended the regional office of the GSFP for organising the workshop, which he believed would help change things for the better.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, stressed that proper internal accounting was crucial to building an even stronger GSFP.”
“We need to account to the people about how much we spend on the programme as this will lead to its expansion,” he said.
The Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of the GSFP, Mrs Ophelia Antwi Boasiako, urged all operators in the programme to co-operate to make it successful.
She said there had been a vast improvement in the programme in the region and service providers were very happy.
“The sanity that prevails now in the programme is a sign of our seriousness to get the best out of the programme,” Mrs Antwi Boasiako said.