Refund of Sputnik money does not end your woes- Dafeamekpor to Agyeman-Manu

Ghana's Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu
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The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor says the refund of the US$2.4M Sputnik V money to Ghana does not settle the case of breach of procurement laws by the Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.

This comes after Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, the Dubai-based businessman, contracted by the Ministry of Health for the supply of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines, refunded US$ 2,470,000 to Ghana.

In a letter dated August 11, 2021 and addressed to Mr Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, in Accra, Sheikh Al Maktoum indicated that no funds had been drawn under the Letter of Credit which stood expired as of June 2021.

Sheikh Al Maktoum, according to the letter, was thus expecting a payment receipt once the funds had been transferred into the Government of Ghana’s bank account.  

The refund of the money for the non-supplied Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines was requested by the Ministry of Health based on the directives of the ad hoc Parliamentary Committee on Health, after its investigations found out that the Minister of Health had breached the legislations on procurement.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 Friday August 13, Mr Dafeamekpor said “For someone to have negotiated and executed this agreement on behalf of the republic and the agreement got to be latterly terminated and monies that supposedly we were told initially that we didn’t lose funds, nothing exchanged hands, it turns out that so much exchanged hands and now we are asking for a refund, we can’t allow this matter to rest.”

He added that executive approval of the deal should at least be given as in the case of emergency situations.

“There are procedures under emergency situations that we are supposed to take and this government has come to parliament to act under that procedure severally… there ought to have been an executive approval, did he receive that approval”?

He mentions that circumstances surrounding the deal right from its negotiation to execution are not interrogated enough.

“It appears we are not interrogating the issues properly, under what circumstances were these payments effected? He asked and added that “we saw the letters going to the accountant general and all that, so this is not the end of this case”.

The refund of the US$2.4M Sputnik V money is just a part of the amount paid to Sheikh Al Maktoum as the amount for the 20,000 vaccines have been deducted from the initial payment.

Mr Dafeamekpor added that the Sputnik V money must be refunded fully with interest due to the termination of the contract.

By Belinda Worwornyo||Ghana