November 29, 2021

Parliament sets up 9-member ad-hoc C’ttee to probe procurement of Sputnik-V vaccines

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A nine-member ad-hoc parliamentary committee has been tasked to probe the controversial Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal.

The committee is expected to look into circumstances that compelled the government to procure vaccines through middlemen.

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin, will chair the committee.

The 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 announcement of the committee follows the adoption of a motion from seven members of the Minority for a probe into the contracts between the Republic of Ghana, Sheik Ahmed Al Makhtoum, and one other, for the supply of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, admitted the motion from the Minority side for the constitution of a bi-partisan committee to investigate the government’s contract for the procurement of the vaccines on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

The motion was sponsored by Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu; Juabeso MP, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh; Dafiama-Bussie-Issa MP, Dr Sebastien Sandaare; North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa; Nabdam MP, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane; and Ashaiman MP, Ernest Norgbey.

Background

The country has been struggling to get more vaccines to reach its target of immunising 20 million citizens.

It later emerged that the government is using the services of middlemen to procure some of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines but at a higher cost of US$19 other than the original factory price of US$ 10.

This move has not gone done well with some stakeholders, including the Minority in Parliament, which called for the abrogation of the procurement contract.

The terms of reference of the committee:

(i) To determine whether or not the transaction in respect of the procurement and supply of Sputnik-V vaccines between the government of Ghana represented by the Ministry of Health and Malton and SL Global qualifies as an international business or economic transaction under Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution and if so, whether it will be subjected to prior approval by Parliament.

(ii) To determine the procurement process that was followed and propriety of same.

(iii) To determine whether the services of a middle man were procured in the transaction and if so the propriety of same, having regard to the relevant laws.

(iv) To ascertain the cost of the vaccines and justification of the cost of the vaccine and whether the transaction guaranteed value for money for Ghana.

(v) To determine whether or not any consideration has passed from the Government of the Republic of Ghana to the middleman in respect of the transaction.

(vi) To determine whether or not the Minister of Health misled Parliament during the consideration of the transaction for the procurement of the vaccines.

(vii) To inquire into any other matters collected in the purchase of Sputnik-V Vaccines in the agreement between the government of Ghana and Malton and SL Global.

The Committee is expected to work on the referral as directed by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Asiamah Amoako and report back to the House within three weeks.

 


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