President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated emphatically that his government would in any day choose the controversial drone project over a contentious guinea fowl project.
The NPP led government has come under strong criticism from different stakeholders for engaging a US-based Fly Zipline Inc in a $12,527,000 deal to distribute medical suppliers across the country with their drone equipment over a period of four years.
The Ghana Medical Association and Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLS) joined the chorus asking government to suspend the deal.
Former President John Dramani Mahama also waded into the controversy, accusing the government of getting its priority wrong.
“Instead of prioritizing the needs of the health sector, the NPP government chooses to acquire drones to fly blood,” he said on Monday whilst addressing some functionaries of the opposition NDC.
But in his annual meet the press series at the Jubilee House in Accra Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo responded to the naysayers, indirectly mocking the position of his predecessor.
Under President Mahama’s leadership, government entered into a contract with a private company to train about 2000 youth in guinea fowl rearing in the three regions of the north. Though the project never materialised, the company was paid millions of cedis, its management said the project started but the birds flew to neighbouring Burkina Faso.
“I prefer drones flying to deliver essential medicines to our people than an investment in guinea fowls that allegedly fly off to Burkina Faso without any trace”.
The president further noted, the four (4) distribution centres, from where the drones will be operating, will stock one hundred and forty-eight (148) lifesaving and essential medical supplies, and not only blood.
“The drone delivery service will save lives, decrease wastage in the system, guarantee healthcare access for more than 14 million people nationwide, and employ over two hundred (200) Ghanaians. This programme is NOT going to be run on the public budget. Corporate Social Responsibility contributions from private sector players will pay for the service.”
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana