Parliament’s Committee investigating Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal resumes sitting today

Parliament’s Committee investigating Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal resumes sitting today

The nine-member ad-hoc parliamentary committee tasked to probe the controversial Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal is expected to resume sitting today, Monday, July 19, 2021.

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, is expected to re-appear before the committee to answer questions on the deal.

The committee has been tasked to look into circumstances that compelled the government to attempt to procure vaccines through middlemen. The committee is expected to conclude its works and report to Parliament in three weeks.

As Ghana struggles to reach its target of vaccinating 20 million citizens, it emerged that the government was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik v vaccines. But this was at a higher cost of $19 other than the original factory price of $10. This prompted calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract.

Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, in his appearance before the committee last week, revealed that the company that agreed to supply the overpriced Sputnik V vaccines had terminated the contract it had with the country.

The formation of the committee followed the adoption of a motion from seven members of the Minority for a probe into the contract between the Republic of Ghana, Sheik Ahmed Al Maktoum, and one other, for the supply of the vaccines.

First priority of the nine-member committee’s mandate is to determine whether the two agreements between the middlemen constituted international business transactions that should have first received Parliamentary approval. It will also determine whether appropriate procedures were used in acquiring the services of the middlemen.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, is chairing the committee.

By: Stella Annan | Twitter @activetvgh

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