The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu has announced that the government has canceled the controversial Sputnik V Vaccines procurement contract with a middleman, Sheik Al Makhtoum and SL Global.
The government of Ghana came under intense pressure following its decision to use intermediaries to secure over three million Sputnik-V vaccines for 19 dollars instead of 10 dollars on the international market.
The Minority in Parliament rubbished the agreement and insisted that the deal was a rip-off and that some further explanations were needed.
Kwabena Minta Akandoh, the Ranking Member on the Health Committee of Parliament said they were prepared to ensure that the full details of the deal are given to the public.
He said even if they had to travel to Russia to unravel all the issues surrounding the deal, they were prepared for it.
The Ministry of Health however disagreed with the minority’s assertion, indicating that the government’s attempt to secure Sputnik V Vaccines at a unit cost of US$19 was not a rip-off.
A motion by the minority in parliament was therefore granted by the Speaker of the House, Hon. Alban Bagbin to investigate the procurement contract.
Appearing before the nine-member bi-partisan Parliamentary Probe Committee on Thursday, July 15, 2021, Mr. Manu noted that Sheik Al Makhtoum and SL Global had indicated to the government of Ghana on July 14, 2021, that it will be impossible for them to honor the contractual agreement due to the global shortage of vaccines.
“We are not just terminating the contract because, after the contract, they gave us two weeks to supply the first 300,000 doses of the vaccines that we have ordered based on the letters of credit we have given them, as part of the terms of the agreement, but our letters of credit were delayed but got to them later and they came back to tell us that they had run out of stock and that they were waiting on the manufacturer to supply them, and they will supply us in two weeks,” he said.
“After two weeks we enquired, and they said still they haven’t received it. So we started engaging them that if that is the matter, they should permit us to withdraw from the contract so that we can do something different and buy vaccines for ourselves because our faith in them to supply the vaccines was waning. So we continuously put pressure on them and they gave us until July. They later gave us verbal notice that they will not be able to supply any longer, and so we requested that they terminate the agreement, which they have done. So, as we sit here, there is no contract between the two of us,” the minister concluded.