The Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh says the Minister for Health, Kweku Agyemang Manu will be dragged before Parliament’s Health Committee following the government’s procurement of Sputnik V vaccines at an expensive price.
Mr. Akandoh, who is also the Ranking Member on the Health Committee, said the action will be taken because the ministry’s justification for securing the vaccines at an above-standard price is unacceptable and very difficult to believe.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Juaboso legislator said the matter must not be taken lightly.
“We are going to invite the Minister to appear before the committee so that he answers relevant questions because, as for the press release and the things they are saying, it is very difficult to believe,” he told Umaru Sanda Amadu, host of Eyewitness News, on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
A Norweigian news tabloid, Verdens Gang reported that Ghana has made a request to purchase 3.4 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine through two businessmen who are selling it to Ghana at $19 per dose instead of the $10 per dose on the international market.
The government had explained that it could not secure the vaccines directly from the manufacturer, hence the need to go through some middlemen, and that explains why the cost is higher than the standard price of the Russian vaccine.
The Chairman of Parliament’s Health Committee, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, on Wednesday said the pandemic presents a desperate situation that requires that Ghana procures the vaccine even if it is above the regular price on the international market.
“We have not been swindled as a State. Yes, the factory price is US$10 but when you get expatriates, it gets out of the factory, there are a lot of factors that come in including the profit, commission and freight to Ghana. So you don’t expect a vaccine that costs US$ 10 at the factory to be the same price when it arrives in Ghana, especially when a middleman is getting it,” he said.
But Mr Akandoh said the government is only trying to justify its cause to “milk the situation.”
He said the government must immediately abrogate the deal.
“These are grave issues, and we cannot sit down for the government to milk the situation as and when they desire. We have spent about GHS 19 billion on COVID-19 but before the committee, the Minister for Finance was only able to account for GHS 600 million. The contract must be suspended immediately because it is unconstitutional and must be declared null and void and a bipartisan probe must be instituted on this matter for us to get to the logical conclusion on this matter,” he added.