Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Health Minister, has admitted that he did not conduct adequate due diligence before contracting with the private office of one Emirati Sheikh, H.H Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, for 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V at a unit cost of $19.
A Norwegian journalist, Markus Tobiassen, who works for the tabloid Vergens Gan, discovered that the deal had been inflated by $9, citing the ex-factory price of the vaccine as $10.
Following the exposé, there was uproar in Ghana, with the minority demanding that the deal be investigated. Following that, a parliamentary committee was formed to investigate the deal.
Mr. Agyemang-Manu testified before the committee that the demands of the Covid-19 impaired his ability to carry out his normal duties.
“Those were not normal times and I was seriously in a situation that didn’t make me think properly, the way you think that now I will actually abreast myself with the situation”, he told the committee Monday, July 19.
The minister stated that the entire transaction was reached out of desperation and frustration on the part of his office, which is why he did not seek parliamentary approval for the international transaction, as required by Article 181 (5) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
“February, 78, March 56, there were the numbers and if you, any of us here were the Health Minister at the time I think you might have taken certain decisions that in hindsight or going forward you may not have done those things. This was the environment that I found myself in. Out of desperation, frustration, so many things and people were dying we needed to protect our citizens”
Meanwhile, he explained last Friday why he had to disregard the Attorney-General’s advice on the matter.
Check Out Video Below:
Ghanaians have reacted with disdain to the explanation the Health Minister gave before Parliament for failing to make due diligence in the signing of the contract for 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V at a unit cost of $19.
Many are calling for his head and asking him to resign to save his dented reputation.
Check out some of the comments:
The Health Minister’s posture, mannerism, tone, voice pitch, vulgarity and vexatious responses points to one direction; there are no consequences for atrocious conduct in this polity. 🤷🏽♂️
— yoni🤷🏽♂️ (@Stand4Ghana) July 19, 2021
Former Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands says he thinks vaccine uptake for Sinopharm and Sinovac (China) would be slim to none in The Bahamas. Says Bahamians are “brand conscious”, and want Pfizer and Moderna. He’s also concerned about the efficacy of vaccines produced in China.
— Jared Higgs (@JHiggslive) July 19, 2021
Tsatsu Tsikata went to jail for GHS230,000. He had invested GNPC money in agric businesses that failed.
The Health Minister’s scandal does in the region of GHS170 million and he is at post six hours after he confirmed making a mistake.
— StatsGH (@statsgh) July 19, 2021
“Not thinking properly” is such an atrocious excuse.
This is not the kind of output anyone expects from a Health Minister during a pandemic.
As our Ministers publicly profess not to be thinking properly, dubious middlemen & shonky sheikhs continue to exploit and fleece us. 😭😭
— Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa (@S_OkudzetoAblak) July 19, 2021