Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has admitted that he erred by not seeking parliamentary approval before contracting a private individual for procurement of Sputnik-V vaccines from Russia to vaccinate Ghanaians against the coronavirus.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said this before the nine-member parliamentary committee probing the government’s contract to purchase Sputnik V vaccines at its second public hearing today, Monday, 19 July 2021.
The health minister appeared last Thursday, 15 July 2021 where he made a statement that the private individual that is the Dubai-based middleman who was to supply Ghana with Sputnik-V Vaccines Sheik Al Makhtoum could not supply the vaccines as promised and, therefore, the contract had been terminated.
The minister asked why he didn’t seek parliamentary approval said: “Honourable chair, I must be very honest with you at the time, I have mentioned my frustration was the fact that I seriously made that error and in hindsight, it won’t happen any longer…”
Quizzed further about why he didn’t follow the steps and procedures for seeking parliamentary approval in emergency situations because according to the committee the minister knows the procedure, Mr Agyeman-Manu noted: “Those were not normal times and seriously we were in a situation that couldn’t let me think formally the way you think that now I will formally address the situation…”
Under the said contract, Ghana was to receive 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V Vaccines at a unit cost of 19 dollars as against the ex-factory price of 10 dollars per dose.
The cost of the vaccine did not go down well with some stakeholders, especially the Minority in Parliament, which called for the abrogation of the contract.