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Sputnik V: CHRAJ must probe, not parliament – Azeem

Vitus Azeem213 Anti-corruption campaigner, Vitus Azeem

Mon, 14 Jun 2021 Source: 3news.com

An anti-corruption campaigner, Mr Vitus Azeem, has said the overpriced Sputnik V Vaccine should be investigated by the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and not Parliament.

He said he has problems with lawmakers investigating issues of this nature.

Mr Azeem who is a former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) said “And whether it is actually true that we could not get a direct source and had to use a middleman. These are things we should worry about as a country. So, as for calling for an investigation it is very important.

Parliament has already called for a bipartisan investigations but I have my problem with parliament doing investigations, we don’t know what goes into those investigations when they involve parliamentarians so I will talk about Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).”

Ghana has been cited in an investigative report in a Norwegian newspaper Vergennes Gang for agreeing to procure the Sputnik V vaccines from a businessman at a unit price of $19 instead of $10.

The Ministry of Health has justified the purchase of Sputnik V vaccines at almost double the factory price, emphasising the negotiations were held at a time of scarcity of the products across the globe.

But a statement issued by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, June 9 said: “We were torn between accepting the price to enable us have access to the vaccine or facing the situation of the seller withdrawing from the negotiations, to the extent that the 15,000 doses that had been shipped to Ghana were going to be rerouted to other countries.”

The statement signed by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, noted that the government was unable to obtain direct supplies of the vaccines from the Russian government and so had to resort to one Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the supplies.

According to the Ministry, $10 was the ex-factory price but the Emirati offered to sell the vaccines at $25 per dose.

This was slashed by $6 after negotiations, according to the statement.

This is the result of the cost build-up to the ex-factory price of US$10 per dose, taking into account land transportation, shipment, insurance, handling and special storage charges, as explained by the seller.

“These are the factors which led us to agree the final price of US$19 per dose,” the Ministry stressed.

It has assured Ghanaians that “it will endeavour to secure vaccines for the Ghanaian people, despite global shortages and cognisant of price and legal considerations”.

Source: 3news.com
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