Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway
Sat, 12 Jun 2021Source: www.ghanaweb.com
• It has emerged government bought Sputnik V vaccines at $19 instead of $10
• The Ministry of Health says government could not establish contact with the Russian government over the purchase
• The use of middlemen in the purchase led to the rise in the price
Stan Dogbe, a presidential staffer under the erstwhile Mahama administration has questioned the competence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey after it emerged that the government of Ghana failed to secure direct talks with the Russian government over the sale of Sputnik V vaccines.
According to him, the failure of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey to use diplomatic means to get the vaccine is a manifestation of ‘weak international relations”.
“He wondered why other countries could deal directly with the Russian government and negotiate a price that is far lower than Ghana is paying for the vaccine.
“My reading of Ghana’s Ministry of Health’s response to the reported fraud in the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines reveals a very disappointing and image denting development for Ghana.
“What we are being told in paragraph 4, is that, under the government of Nana Akufo-Addo, himself a former Foreign Minister, Ghana’s international relations and positioning is totally weak.
“And for me, if indeed what the government is telling is true, then I want to call for the immediate resignation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. She has failed in her role, for failing to hold high our relations with the Russian government, and not able to engage and negotiate as other countries have done, with Russia to buy the Sputnik V vaccines. Ayorkor must resign”.
Government in its clarification of why it paid almost twice the price for the vaccine which is officially priced at $10 said that it had to use the services of middlemen and that led to a hike in the price.
“It should be noted that US$ 10 price per dose which is being proposed as the correct price, is the ex-factory price which is only obtained from government to government arrangements. Government of Ghana was unable to obtain direct supplies from the Russian government as stated earlier, hence the resort to the market,” a statement signed by the Chief Director of the MOH, Kwabena Boadu Oku Afari said.