A controversial middleman in Ghana’s Sputnik V vaccine purchase, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum has pulled out of the contract. This was made known by the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu.
The Minister told a bi-partisan parliamentary committee probing the deal that the government has also subsequently cancelled the controversial contract for the supply of Sputnik V vaccines through the Sheikh.
Under the said contract, Ghana would pay for Sputnik V Vaccines at a unit cost of $19 as against the ex-factory price of $10 per dose.
Appearing before the nine-member committee in Parliament on Thursday, July 15, 2021, Agyeman Manu said the contract was terminated because Sheik Al Maktoum could not supply the vaccine doses procured.
According to him, this was after the middlemen requested to cancel the contract after they couldn’t meet the deadlines in the agreement.
“We are not just terminating 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. They came back to [tell] us that they have run out of stock and that they are waiting on the manufacturer to supply them, and they will supply us in two weeks.
“After two weeks we enquired, and they have 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 actually done. So, as we sit here, there is no contract between the two of us,” the Minister told the committee.
Probe of the Contract
Parliament last week set up a bi-partisan committee to look into the controversial Sputnik V deal. Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin chairs the nine-member ad-hoc parliamentary committee.
The committee is expected to look into circumstances that compelled the government to procure vaccines through a middleman.
Other members of the committee are Akatsi South MP, Bernard Ahiafor; Juaboso MP, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh; Asante Akyem Central MP; Kwame Anyimadu Antwi; Ashaiman MP, Ernest Norgbey; Techiman North MP; Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Effiduase-Asokore MP; Dr Ayew Afriyie, Yendi MP; Farouk Aliu Mahama and Ablekuma North MP, Sheila Bartels.
The Committee has three weeks to conclude its work and report to Parliament.