The association of small-scale suppliers of food, educational materials, clothing and other logistics to senior high schools (SHS) is calling on government not to ignore them in the implementation of its flagship Free SHS Policy.
Members of the National Association of Institutional Suppliers, fear they are likely to be thrown out of business since government will centralise the system and give procurement and supply contracts to bigger companies that can meet higher demands.
According to them, government needed to recognised and engaged them since they have held the front over the years by supplying SHSs through the procurement process.
Speaking to Joy News’ Fred Quame Asare, the Public Relations Officer of the Association, Isaac Antwi Boasiako, indicated that it is evident the small scale suppliers would suffer unfair market competitions with the bigger companies if government fails to recognize and protect them.
“With this policy direction of the Free SHS, we realized they are trying to centralize the jobs that have been given out. An example is the distribution of the social studies books.
“One person is supplying the whole region or may I say the whole country, taking the jobs of about 15,000 to 18,000 suppliers who need to be in the system”, he said.
He further added, “one of the procurement adds in the dailies where exercise books and notebooks were taken by government…none of us have the capacity to meet the quantity that they bought because it is capital intensive and it is only the bigger companies that can meet that demand.”
He, therefore, called for a round table discussion with government on the issue “for an alternative means to keep us in the system”.
Mr Boasiako stated the government would contradict its aim of job creation if it ignores the small scale suppliers who have gained great expertise over the years by supplying individual schools and can equally deliver if engaged.
“We know one of the Presidents policy is to create jobs, but if I may ask is he [President] about to take the jobs of some SMEs that have been supplying the school for over 35 years?”, he quizzed.