The Minority in Parliament led by their leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson stormed the office of the Minister of Food and Agriculture Bryan Acheampong on Friday, July 7 to demand answers as to why the picketing food suppliers have not been paid their arrears.
The other opposition MPs who accompanied their leader were Juabosso MP, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Ellembelle MP Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Adaklu MP Kwame Agbodza.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers had gone to the office of the National Food Buffer Stock Company where the food suppliers had been sleeping for the past three days to demand the payment of their arrears.
Bryan Acheampong was unhappy with the way and manner his colleague lawmaker had confronted him.
“You are a former Deputy Finance Minister, what do you know about these payments? What do you know about payments that have been delayed,” an unhappy Bryan told Ato Forson.
“…This is not the route to solve this problem. This inorganic picketing should not be accepted and encouraged,” the Abetifi Lawmaker added.
In response to him, Mintah Akandoh told him “You should be the last person to get angry, we are finding a solution.”
Regarding the arrears, the management of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has acknowledged its indebtedness to food suppliers which has resulted in the picketing.
The company says an emergency meeting has been scheduled by the board on the matter.
“NAFCO acknowledges its indebtedness to its cherished suppliers. The company sympathizes with them in this unfortunate situation they find themselves in which has compelled them to picket at our head office premises. The company is equally concerned about their plight and appreciates their patience.
“An emergency board meeting has been scheduled on the situation and the outcome including a possible roadmap for resolution will be shared thereafter,” a statement issued by the company on Thursday, July 6 said.
The picketing food suppliers said that they were owed two years’ arrears.
A spokesperson for the National Food Suppliers Association Koku Amedume said that this situation is putting pressure on them because they took loans from banks to enable them to meet the supply needs of the Buffer Stock.
Speaking on the Ghana Tonight Show with Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Tuesday, July 4, Amedume indicated that the suppliers who spent the night at the premises of the NAFCO as part of the demonstration are more comfortable sleeping at the premises of NAFCO than sleeping in their homes because of the pressure on them.
He also said they are worried about the interest being accrued on the loans they took because of the nonpayment by NAFCO.
“The pressure on us at home is massive. Most of these people go to contract loans from banks with huge interests with the sole aim of supporting their business and engaging in this supply business.
“Buffer stock had taken supplies from them for two years, for two years we have not been paid,” he said.