Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has accused the government of milking the country by using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse.
His comments come at the back of a report by Verdens Gang, a Norwegian newspaper which disclosed that Ghana, through the Ministry of Health allegedly purchased Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines at an overpriced amount of $19 per dose through middlemen instead of the $10 selling price on the international market.
The middlemen, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum and his aide Umar Farooq Zahoor were previously involved in the scandalous Ameri deal, which cost the country in excess of $150million.
Mintah Akandoh claims Ghana has spent about 19 billion Ghana cedis on COVID-19 alone. However, the Ministry of Health could only account for 600 million Ghana cedis which was not even up to a billion Ghana cedis.
He added that the Ministry also failed to sensitize and educate the citizenry on COVID-19 even though it was expected that with the funds allocated to it, these activities would have been carried out.
“You would agree with me that after the selected group of people who were vaccinated, practically nothing has been done about COVID-19. Even on the radio, you don’t hear about the Ministry of Health’s sponsored COVID-19 advert to sensitize and educate the people of Ghana. Not until this issue came up, there was nothing about COVID-19 in the system, and in the media”, he told Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show.
Further arguing his reason for accusing the government of profiteering from the situation, the Joaboso MP stated that after parliament had approved the money for procurement of vaccines, the Ministry was requested to update the committee on every COVID-19 issue. However, the Ministry failed to do that.
Concerning the recent news of Ghana purchasing overpriced vaccines, Mintah Akandoh expressed that they await the Ministry’s response before they bring out any “evidence” against the Ministry.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Head of Public Relations of the Health Ministry, Elorm Ametepe, said “a press release will be issued detailing processes used in procuring the Sputnik V Vaccines for the nation”.