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Free SHS: Efforts underway to pay food suppliers

The National Food Buffer Stock Company has indicated that the Ministry of Education has written to the Finance Ministry to release funds to pay the National Food Suppliers Association.

This comes after the supplies demanded the payment of their 18 months’ arrears within 14 days, failure to which they would picket at the premises of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO).

Speaking to Citi News, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Food Buffer Stock Company, Hanan Abdul-Wahab attributed the delay in the payment of the arrears to the current economic challenges the country is grappling with.

“Yes, we owe them, and with the kind of system Buffer Stock operates, at any point in time, we would owe suppliers. Suppliers’ invoices keep coming in so at any point in time, we will owe suppliers. As to the number of months that we owe them, I am not sure about that, but what I know is that they have been here on several occasions trying to find out why their payments are delaying.”

“The reasons being that we are not living in normal times. We started this business in September 2017, we have never encountered such issues before, so for us to find ourselves in this situation, we all know where we are now in the world in terms of economic issues and it is as a result of Covid-19 and other factors. But nevertheless, efforts are made to make sure that they get their money so that they can also settle their financial institutions, as most of them have said that they have taken facility.”

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