Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu (left) and Speaker Alban Bagbin (right)

The Minority in Parliament, led by Haruna Iddrisu, has expressed confidence that Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin will approve the motion filed for a bi-partisan probe into how government of Ghana procured Sputnik V vaccines.

“We have filed a motion and we pray the Speaker admits the motion to call for a bi-partisan probe into the matter, the report, if it s revealing, will call for heads to roll on this matter without any hesitation,” he said.

According to the Minority Caucus, as happens in many democratic countries, the transaction needs to be probed in order to answer all nagging questions. This is especially so, because Parliament is not aware of the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines at $19 instead of the market price of $10.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the party, he said it is unacceptable that President Nana Akufo-Addo, who has served as Foreign Affairs Minister, “boldly chose to sidestep diplomatic channels and rather resorted to dealing with Russian Institutions through third parties when we have always had and maintained cordial bilateral relations with the Russian Government.”

Mr Iddrisu said the Minority, “believes the filed motion will be approved by the Speaker since the Procurement Law, Health Institutions and Facilities Act and the Fees and Charges Act were all breached.”

The Member of Parliament for Tamale South, said it is unfortunate that the country, along with its people, have to be burdened with such great cost when the vaccines could have been bought at a more cost-effective price.

The call for a probe follows revelations that the Ministry of Health has contracted a supplier, S. L. Global Limited, to purchase five million doses of Sputnik V vaccines at $26 per dose.

The Ghanaian-owned company, serving as the intermediary, is to deliver the vaccines in batches; one million doses each month until the fifth month when the country would have had enough doses for inoculation of all eligible persons.

Among other things, the agreement was that the purchase will not include transportation, storage and other charges; thus, the cost is likely to rise.

Thus, in a letter dated March 16, 2021, the Ministry requested the Ministry of Finance to support it to raise $130 million to be used to pay for Covid-19 vaccines, which were being procured through some third parties.

This was discovered barely a week after an investigation by a Norwegian newspaper uncovered that government was in the process of buying the Sputnik V vaccine for $18.5 instead of $10 per dose from the businessmen.

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

Publishing its findings on www.vg.no, VG, the Norwegian newspaper, further revealed that government has signed the contract for 3.4 million doses of the vaccine after it received an initial 16,000 doses from two businessmen on March 3, 2021.

According to the publication, when the Ministry of Health was contacted to respond to the story, “a group of bureaucrats” told the newspaper that their job was to pay after the contract had been signed.

The Ministry of Finance in response to the story said the vaccines were purchased to “protect” people.

The Minority in Parliament maintains that the pricing of the product is a rip off to the country. Thus, the request for the formal Parliamentary bi-partisan probe into the matter.