Deputy National Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) Edem Agbana, has stated that the opposition caucus in parliament have been vindicated by advocating for the truth and making sure that Ghana was saved from losing millions of taxpayer’s money to middlemen in procuring Sputnik V vaccines from Russia.
He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) willfully stood by the truth in protecting the public purse from corrupt government officials and some middlemen deliberately stealing money from the state coffers.
Mr Agbana said it was untrue when the government told Ghanaians that they were not able to deal directly with the Russian government to procure the Sputnik V vaccines but rather through middlemen to be able to purchase the vaccines for the country at an inflated price.
He said if it wasn’t the diligent investigation of the Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang (VG) which revealed that the deal between the Emirati Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum and the Ministry of Health (MoE) was full of corruption and the vigilance of the opposition, Ghana would have lost whopping sums of money to the middleman by purchasing the vaccines at $19 per dose.
Mr Agbana also pointed out that the middleman was unable to supply the vaccines because the deal was exposed to the Russians, the reason the government abrogated the contract.
He made this statement in an interview with Berla Mundi on TV3’s New Day, Friday, July 16.
Mr Agbana was speaking on the back of the declaration by the Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu on Thursday, July 15, that government has cancelled the contract with the Emirati middleman to procure the Sputnik V vaccines for the country.
“Great news for us and we feel vindicated that we advocated and stood by the truth and ensured that we saved Ghana from losing millions of dollars to corruption. That we stood by the truth and protected the public purse and prevented some middleman and some officials of government from deliberately stealing Ghana’s money. We are talking about Covid, where countries are prepared to partner, where the World Health Organization is doing everything possible to encourage partnerships between countries. We have a situation where President Akufo-Addo’s government told us that they are unable to strike a deal with the Russian government but it has to take a middleman to strike that deal, buy the vaccines and then resell to us at a higher price but for the Norwegian investigation that revealed that the deal was full of corruption”, Agbana said.
He added “and but for the vigilance of the NDC, we would have been paying the $19 for these vaccines and I can tell you that there is no need to belabour the point, the whole truth is that the middleman is not able to supply the vaccines because the deal was exposed and they know that if they had gone ahead they would have cited them for corruption. How possible is it that the government of Ghana, with diplomatic missions in Russia could not have an agreement with the Russian government for them to supply the people of Ghana with these vaccines?
“But it took a middleman who would buy these vaccines and sell it at a higher price and look at the arrangement that they made, the way they came to Ghana, the announcements that were made and all, everything shows that this is just a corrupt deal that has gone bad. And we are happy that the middleman has pulled out of the procurement process and says he cannot supply any longer”.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana