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General News Mon, 14 Jun 2021

Sputnik V vaccine: Sack Agyeman-Manu for sloppy procurement – Martin Kpebu to Akufo-Addo

• Lawyer Martin Kpebu is asking President Akufo-Addo to sack the Minister for Health over his role in government's procurement of some 3.4 million doses of the Russian made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines

• It has emerged that Ghana signed a contract for the vaccines with middlemen at a cost of $19 instead of $10 per dose offered by the manufacturers

• According to Mr Kpebu, Mr Agyeman-Manu was sloppy in his role relative to the vaccine procurement and must be relieved of his position

Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu is asking for the head of the Minister of Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu over his “sloppy” role in government's procurement of estimated 3.4 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.

Kpebu’s call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sack the Health Minister comes after Verdens Gang (VG), a Norwegian news organization reported of the government of Ghana’s move to purchase the vaccines through middlemen who offered it at a cost of $19 per dose instead of the $10 per dose ex-factory price.

The Ministry of Health in their defense have explained that the vaccines had to be procured through middlemen since they could not be accessed directly from the manufacturer.

“He should know that Ghanaians are very vigilant; so this one, I think the Health Minister has been too sloppy and the least the President can do is to sack him.

"The President should know that we are very angry with what the Health Minister has done, he has not shown prudence at all and has also shown no sensitivity to how Ghanaians react to issues of money,” Kpebu stated.

In a related development, the Minority in Parliament is calling for immediate cancellation of the said contract.

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has stated that the procurement of the Sputnik vaccines at a cost of $19 per dose instead of $10 smacks of financial impropriety and cost inflation.

“The minority in Parliament will urge the government to reconsider both terms of this contract with particular emphasis on price and work assiduously through proper diplomatic and approved channels to secure COVID-19 vaccines for Ghanaians.”

According to Mr Akandoh, the many ills with the procurement process include the failure of government to seek parliamentary approval for the contract as it passes for an international agreement.

“This contract is unconstitutional, null, and void and the government should abrogate and refrain from making any payment with respect to this contract before laying the entirety of the contract before Parliament for scrutiny and subsequent approval,” he stated in an interview with Citi news monitored by GhanaWeb.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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