Ghana was shortchanged in Frontier Healthcare COVID-19 testing deal – Minority

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The Minority in Parliament believes Ghana was shortchanged in the deal with Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited with regard to COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

The government engaged Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct the rapid COVID-19 tests at KIA following the reopening of the airport to international passenger flights in September 2020.

The 30-minute PCR COVID-19 test initially attracted a $150 fee but was subsequently reviewed downward to  US$50 for ECOWAS nationals, but maintained at US$150 for non-ECOWAS citizens.

The MPs on the Minority side had earlier raised concerns about the transparency of the deal.

It later emerged that some $17.3 million was realized between September and December 2020 from COVID-19 testing at the KIA.

Out of this amount, Frontier Healthcare kept $16.2 million, while the Ghana Airport Company received $1.1 million.

Member of Parliament for the Juaboso and Ranking Member on the Health Committee,  Kwabena Mintah Akandoh said the deal is questionable because it benefitted Frontier Healthcare way more than the country.

“We think that Ghana is being shortchanged because there was a question that was filed on the floor of the house to know how much that particular company has raked in, and we realized that they are taking home more than $16 million while the Ghana government is taking $1 million.

“We think that Noguchi could have conducted this particular COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport, and therefore we must investigate what really went on because, during the vetting of the ministers, it came out clearly that even before they began their operations at KIA, no statutory or regulatory body cleared them, and they started taking $150 per test and all that. These are issues we want to go into and find out why we signed an agreement and within four months, the private company is getting more than the Ghana government,” he added.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, had earlier dragged the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, to Parliament, to account for proceeds from the COVID-19 testing exercise at the Kotoka International Airport.

In an urgent question, the Tamale South Member of Parliament was seeking information regarding the funds accrued from the contract between the Ghana Airport Company and Frontiers Healthcare Services as of the end of December 2020.

The question requested for a breakdown of the amount accrued from the testing and how much of it was allocated to the respective parties in the deal.

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