Minister for Health. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has opened up on the impact of the Sputnik V Vaccines deal which went bad on his reputation.
The minister has expressed disappointment over how he was mistreated and shredded by the public over his attempt to procure vaccines in haste in order to contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic and recover the economy.
Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who was speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 during the 2022 Budget debate recounted that due to his failure to seek parliamentary approval for the deal, the public lambasted and impugn his reputation.
Due to the treatment meted out to him, the Minister says he image has been soiled in the country.
“Mr. Speaker, I am so amazed. When I was rushing to get some vaccines to do vaccinations quickly to meet our development targets, I was found culpable of not coming to Parliament and I was lambasted to the extent that now I don’t have any image in this country,” the Minister for Health recounted on the floor of parliament.
The controversy began when a Norwegian newspaper, VG, reported that the government of Ghana was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines.
But this was at a higher cost of $19 other than the original factory price of $10.
This prompted calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract.
The Minister had earlier claimed that the state had not made any payments for the vaccine.
The Health Committee in Parliament had also said the government was not being ripped off in the deal with its chairman, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie saying that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines require the use of middlemen whose activities will lead to an increase in the original price.
Dr. Afriyie also said no consignment has been received.
But a parliamentary committee set up to probe the deal indicated that the $2,850,000 representing 50 percent of the $5,700,000 owed to Sheikh Maktoum for the supply of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine was actually paid to him, although only 20,000 doses were delivered.
The contract, according to Ghana’s Health Minister, was abrogated by Sheikh Ahmed after failure to meet his obligation and the money refunded to Ghana.