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More troubles for Government over unpaid Debts

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The National Association of Institutional Suppliers (NAIS) at a press conference have giving Ministry of Education an ultimatum of 14 working days to pay all outstanding debts otherwise, they are coming to picketing at the Ministry.

The Association is also calling for an increase in the prices of school uniforms and house dress sow to the students under the free SHS programme.

Furthermore, the want an immediate abolishing to the supply of trousers added to them.

According to the Association, if all these demands are not met in 14 days, the entire members would be picketing at the Ministry of education.

The National Association of Institutional Suppliers is made up of suppliers of clothing ie: House Jerseys, School Uniforms, Outing Dresses, Food items and stationery to Senior High Schools and other Institutions throughout the country.

Members of the Association comprises, Seamstresses, Tailors, Fashion designers, Garment producers and Textiles designers who were supplying educational materials to the Senior High Schools and Colleges of Education in the country before the advent of the Free SHS Programme.

Mr. Stephen Oware, President of National Association of Institutional Suppliers in an interview disclosed that, the present economic situation and its attendant price hikes have seriously affected their production cost.

“The average inflation rate from 2017 to date for instance is 24.4% and the dollar which was GHC3.9 in 2017 is now hovering around GHC12. All the factors affecting our production have not been favourable and therefore the cost of production has been abnormally high”.

According to him,despite all these, the prices fixed for the supply of the clothing have virtually been the same. The school Uniform materials from Printex Ghana which was GHC12.40 per yard in 2017 is now GHC50.00 per yard.

“We have since 2019 written series of letters to the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service requesting for upward adjustment but to our dismay, there hasn’t been any positive response. We have met the Minister on a couple of times for a discussion but we have not made any headway. At our last meeting with him about a few months ago, he admitted the present price hikes and its effect on our production but regrettably remarked that the government’s budget is already tight and that such an increase cannot be catered for”.

He explained that, before the introduction of Free SHS, prices of the items they supplied were fixed at the beginning of the academic year after stakeholders’ engagement and in consideration of the market situation and inflationary trends of the year.

“Unfortunately, this arrangement halted in 2017 when the Free SHS was introduced. The price fixed for 2016 has remained virtually the same”.

The President said, aside the price stagnation, payment due for supplies for the past three years have indeed delayed as supplies made in 2021 school year are still not paid.

“Our spouses, workers and dependents numbering over ten thousand, risk losing their livelihood if this situation is not urgently addressed. Also, the government’s touted policy of creating enabling environment for private sector development will look questionable and the success of the Free SHS policy will also be shaky if this situation is not properly and urgently addressed”.

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