Hanan Abdul-Wahab, CEO of NAFCO

The National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) has debunked claims of substituting eggs with mackerel imported from China.

According to the CEO, Hanan Abdul-Wahab, the company does not supply eggs to schools, hence, the allegations are not substantial.

“There has not been any point in our supply process or regime that we have substituted egg for mackerel. At the beginning of the academic year, 30% is sent back to the schools for them to buy perishable items and that includes eggs. We’re responsible for 18 non-perishable food items. If you want to promote the consumption of eggs produced here, there are so many ways to do it without attacking state institutions,” he stated while addressing the press.

This comes on the back of a post on Facebook authored by the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare inferring that senior high schools are not buying eggs because government has contacted a Chinese company making mackerel.

According to the Facebook post, “poultry farmers invested in more layers to sustain the demand from SHS, while it created jobs and income for many. Thank you Nana for creating jobs via free SHS. Then in January this year, an order came from Accra that a certain company [Lamens Ventures], has been contracted by government – don’t forget the free SHS budget was held at the Presidency – to supply imported Chinese mackerel to all SHS in Ghana.”

NAFCO in a press statement reiterated that mackerel does not replace eggs and it has been part of the National Approved Menu since the roll out of the free education.

“There has not been any policy that compels SHS not to buy eggs. The mackerel and eggs are not mutually exclusive. Schools can buy eggs if they so wish, in addition to the mackerel supplied by NAFCO.”

“In the absence of the funds for perishables, school heads use their discretion to manage the menu for the students. Poultry farmers engage the schools on a ‘cash basis’. It is not the case that mackerel replaced eggs in the National Approved Menu in January 2021. It has been part since September 2017”, it stressed out.

“It is not true that mackerel replaced eggs, thereby affecting local poultry farmers”, it stated

The statement further noted that food items that are not locally produced were to be imported only by NAFCO Licensed Suppliers, and Lamens Ventures has been one of many suppliers since the inception of the Free SHS programme in September 2017.