Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, has debunked claim by the Minister of Health that he approached the Russian government to discuss acquisition of Sputnik V vaccines.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in a press briefing last week, disclosed that a Deputy Ambassador at the Russian Embassy was engaged by government to facilitate the procurement of the vaccines but to no avail.

This he said led to the use of middlemen in the procurement of the vaccines.

But Speaking on Topstory, Thursday, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh stated categorically that the Akufo-Addo-led administration failed to engage the Russian government in the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines.

According to him, checks made by the Minority group over the unlawful procurement of vaccines revealed that, “the Russian Embassy was not involved, “I can tell you that the Russian government’s representatives in Ghana, knew nothing about it,” he told host Evans Mensah.

He therefore challenged the incumbent government to mention the name of the Russian government official they claim to have engaged.

The procurement of Sputnik V vaccines through middlemen came to light after an investigation by a Norwegian newspaper uncovered that government is buying the Sputnik V vaccine for $18.5 per dose from the businessmen instead of $10.

The report revealed that government had signed a contract for the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccine with an Emirati official Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum who it said was involved in the controversial Ameri power deal and a Norwegian citizen charged with money laundering in Norway.

The Juaboso legislator expressed worry about the use of middlemen in the purchasing of the vaccines and questioned the efficacy of the vaccines.

Mr Mintah Akandoh added that the incumbent government risked the lives of its citizens by engaging with middlemen, against the advice offered by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to government’s to, not engage suspicious middlemen.

“There is absolutely everything wrong with the agreement that Ghana government signed with the Sheikh from Dubai. There are two critical issues. The number one issue has to do with the use of middlemen, if you check the records of our country, in Ghana, we have never dealt with any middlemen when it comes to the procurement of vaccines and this is not the first time we are importing vaccines into this country.

“The WHO has warned that countries which deal with middlemen risk getting substandard vaccines, there are videos to that effect, so why should we be dealing with middlemen,” he quizzed.

Meanwhile, the Minority caucus has called on government to opt out of the deal it has with Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum and his cohorts, for the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines.

“We the Minority believe that this contract is not in the interest of Ghanaians and whether payments have been made or not, the contract is null and void and government must as a matter of urgency, put in the necessary steps to abrogate the contract.”