Food supplies to the National Buffer Stock Company Limited (GBSCL) reached a total value of GH2.7billion between 2017 and 2022, Minister of Food and Agriculture Bryan Acheampong has disclosed.
The minister made this known when he appeared before parliament in Accra following a summons by the Speaker of parliament, over some GH¢203million owed food suppliers that resulted in weeks-long picketing at the company’s premises by suppliers.
“Since 2017, Buffer Stock has done great business with suppliers to the tune of GH¢2.7billion,” he said.
Breaking down the figures, he said on annual basis GH¢81.1million was purchased by Buffer Stock in 2017; GH¢296 million in 2018; and GH¢441 million in 2019. 2020 supplies summed GH¢467million, with 2021 totalling GH¢692million and GH¢726million in 2022.
Of the said annual amounts, Mr. Acheampong noted that the Buffer Stock had made payments in full up to 2021 – adding that out of the GH¢726million for 2022, GH¢500million had been paid; leaving an outstanding balance of GH¢203million over which suppliers picketed.
The minister further revealed that of the GH¢203million still outstanding, government has released GH¢100million to be paid suppliers this week, assuring that the remainder will be settled next month.
“I have also assured the suppliers that as we commence payment of close to 50 percent on 17th July 2023, by 17th August 2023 the remaining 50 percent will be paid.”
The food suppliers have felt it necessary to picket the National Food Buffer Stock Company premises over two weeks in demand of their arrears.
This led the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, to direct the Parliament Business Committee to task Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta; Education Minister, Dr. Osei Yaw Adutwum; and Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, with apprising the House on the issue.