The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has bemoaned the fact that his image was shredded into pieces due to criticism for his involvement in the procurement of the Sputnik-V vaccines.
The Minister said this on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday during the debate on the 2022 Budget.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu’s comment was in reaction to a claim by the Ranking Member on Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh for a probe into the alleged misappropriation of the expenditure on Covid-19.
“Mr. Speaker I am so amazed. When I was rushing to get some vaccines to do vaccinations quickly to meet our development targets, I was found culpable of not coming to Parliament and I was lambasted to the extent that now I don’t have any image in this country,” he said.
The Health Minister noted that the government’s vaccine development plan made Ghana the first country under COVAS to receive vaccines.
“We did a vaccine development plan which Honourable Mintah Akandoh has got a copy. That is what made Ghana receive the first consignment of COVAX Vaccines in the whole world because we submitted our plan, number one.
Between April and August, Mr. Speaker I beg to say that we never received any vaccine from anywhere apart from the one I negotiated for and which we got the first 21,000 and even that the guy couldn’t supply which made us cancel the contract so what crime was this?” he asked.
Mr. Agyeman-Man added that the country’s vaccine development plan yielded significant fruits as it made it possible for vaccines to be available for vaccination of the populace.
According to him, Ghana anticipates not to waste any vaccines either procured or through donations.
This notwithstanding, speaking on JoyFM‘s Top Story, Mr. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh reiterated that the Minority will pursue a probe into expenditure on Covid-19.
He added that the Health Minister failed to provide answers to the House on the number of vaccines procured and the ones the country received through donations.
“We will actually pursue the probe…You have reported on the number of doses of vaccines or the quantities that we have received. What prevented you from telling the Members of Parliament what you received are donations and what indeed we have bought with our money. It should reflect in the budget. It is nowhere in the budget,” he told Evans Mensah.
The Minority in June filed a motion for a bipartisan probe into the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia through middlemen. According to the NDC caucus in Parliament, the contract breached Article 181 (5) of the Constitution, which requires such international transactions to secure Parliamentary approval and thus must be halted immediately.
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