It’s unfortunate Afriyie denied payment for Sputnik V vaccines – Ayisi

Communications Director of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) George Ayisi, has described as unfortunate that the Chair of Parliament’s Committee on Health Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie denied payment for the overpriced Sputnik V vaccines secured through middlemen.

He opined that it was amiss for the committee to not be adequately briefed on the due processes taken to secure the Russian vaccines and the amount paid in that deal.

Mr Ayisi was speaking in the backdrop of the controversial Sputnik V vaccines that was bought at an exorbitant price by the Ministry of Health via middlemen, in an interview with Berla Mundi on TV3, Friday, June 11.

“It will be worrying that the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health will not be aware that payments have been made. And so we need to know when the Minister or government of Ghana made the payment for the 300,000, between the time the press conference was held by the health chairman and then the interview with the minister. Then we get to know maybe indeed as at the time of making the press conference payment has not been made”, he stated.

When pointed out to by the host that the interview between Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta and the Verdens Gang reporter Markus Tobiassen, where he confirmed the payment for the vaccines about a month ago before the scandal broke out barely a week ago, he said “if it’s a month ago then it’s unfortunate that Parliament’s Select Committee on Health was not briefed on the procedure and the payments made”.

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Asked about the “irrevocable” agreements the government of Ghana entered into with the middlemen in order to secure the Sputnik V vaccines, Mr Ayisi said “irrevocable yes, you enter into agreement for guarantee purposes in this business, especially the middlemen, they want to be sure that you commit, once you commit, when they bring it you don’t backtrack and say ‘I don’t want it again because I have got a cheaper one elsewhere’, that’s how come they enter into such irrevocable agreements”.

For his part, Malik Basintale, Communications Director of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) in the Savannah Region said “clearly something is not adding up, so far as the purchase of this Sputnik V vaccine is concerned. Something is not adding up and there is a problem, anywhere there is an act of create, loot and share, there will definitely be inconsistencies in the stories that are been delivered by the actors involved. There would be and that is how the courts arrive at finding people guilty and so there is a problem, with this outrightly the Ghanaian people are judging by the minute”.

“First of all, they told us the ex-factory price was $10 but if you go on the Sputnik V vaccine page it is $9.9. But you see, in buying items at a large quantity, every cent counts. And so you may find it very okay to round it up but these are detailed analysis we sought to do, these are government of Ghana money, this is the taxpayers money, every pesewa must be accounted for, and so you don’t round things up like that, you can’t tally things up and say we have arrived at 10 so let’s use it in our calculations, it’s not your money, it’s the taxpayer’s money, you need to account per pesewa”, he charged.

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By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana