Year in Review: Controversial business deals of govt that raised suspicion in 2021

DFBGHJ Some of these decisions and deals have raised eyebrows in 2021

Wed, 8 Dec 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The year 2021 did not go by without some controversy under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

His administration, has during the period initiated or entered some deals which have raised eyebrows and concerns.

As the year 2021 comes to an end, GhanaWeb in this article reviews some of such decisions and moves by the Government of Ghana which has raised suspicion among the public.

It is however important to note that some of the deals and decisions mentioned in this article are still under investigation or before a court.

Sputnik V vaccine saga

To start off, Ghana’s Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu came under fire for the controversial Sputnik V vaccine saga.

The deal involved the purchase of 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines through a Dubai-based businessman, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Ghana’s Health Ministry headed by Kwaku Agyeman-Manu was said to have paid US$2.8 million for the supply of 300,000 vaccines out of which only 20,000 doses were supplied.

The controversy around the deal began when a Norwegian newspaper, VG reported that the government of Ghana was seeking to pay a higher cost of US$19 per vaccine other than the original factory price of US$10.

This then sparked calls for the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines to be terminated and the sector minister [Kwaku Agyeman-Manu] to resign from his post

Following a parliamentary probe over the deal, findings revealed that the Health Ministry did not receive Cabinet approval prior to securing the services of the middleman to purchase the vaccines.

One-teacher-one laptop initiative

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of Ghana along with three others, including two state institutions have been sued over the one-teacher one laptop initiative.

The initiative, which was launched by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia earlier this year and aimed at bridging the ICT gap between teachers in rural and urban areas, has been kicked against by two teacher unions and lawmakers in Parliament.

They are, the Innovative Teachers Alliance of Ghana (ITAG), and the ‘All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG), who are against the cost-sharing module in the policy which will see teachers bear 30 percent of the cost, while the government bears 70 percent for the laptops that will be provided by KA Technologies.

A suit filed by the two unions is also demanding that the sole-sourced contract awarded to K. A Technologies Ghana Limited, be annulled. They say this is based on the grounds that it is contrary to sections 40 a, b, c, d, and e of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

The plaintiffs have also accused the government of creating K.A Technologies “only by virtue of the contract for distributing laptops under the initiative by the government, acting through the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendant.” and therefore want the contract annulled.

MP for Bulisa South, Clement Apaak has on numerous occasion raised concerns on the procurement module of the one-teacher-one-laptop initiative.

ENI-Springfield impasse

In 2020, the then Energy Minister John Peter Amewu wrote to subsidiary of the Italian oil major Eni Ghana Exploration and Production Limited (ENI) and Springfield Exploration and Production Limited, requesting them to execute a Unitization and Unit Operating Agreement (UUOA).

The two oil firms were to unitise their Sankofa and Afina oil blocks operated by Springfield E&P but failed to move ahead with the directive for over a year.

This then sparked an impasse between the two firms with Eni and Vitol filing a suit on April 12, 2021 asking the Commercial Court to declare the directive by former energy minister John Peter Amewu as illegal, arbitrary and unfair to them.

The firms further prayed the court to declare that the minister did not follow due process of the law in issuing the purported directives and an order quashing the directives.

But a Commercial Court in Accra in October this year in a ruling affirmed that the former Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu acted within the law when directing two oil companies to unitise their oil fields.

A review of the Court’s ruling sighted by GhanaWeb dismissing an application by Eni and Vitol Upstream Ghana for a judicial review of the directive by the minister said:

“A careful reading of Section 34 (1) of the Petroleum Exploration Act, (Act 919) of the year 2018 does not show that the Minister for Energy’s directive violated the said provision of the law”.

The ruling presided by Justice Emmanuel Kwesi Mensah on October 21, 2021 cited the motion paper to the application as “incompetent as it failed to comply with provisions of Order55 Rule 1 of the Rules of court.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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