A procurement expert has raised red flags over the Medical Drones Service Agreement between the Ghana and US tech company, Zipline.
Kobina Ata-Bedu told the Super Morning Show on Thursday that the agreement does not offer value for Ghana adding that some clauses in the agreement do not make business sense.
The controversial agreement, which was approved by Parliament by a majority decision on Tuesday, will see the company use drones to deliver some essential drugs and blood to health centres across the country.
The system will also be employed to deliver other items such as urgent letters, examination papers and election materials such as ballot papers, according to government communication on the deal.
The Minority in Parliament has, however, rebuked the deal, describing it as misplaced and inflated.
The Minority spokesperson on finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has called out Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, accusing him of being the mastermind of the “inflated contract.”
“Yet he has failed to own up and explain the many inflated cost items inherent in the contract. Instead, he appears to be seeking refuge behind Civil and Public servants who have demonstrated little knowledge about the project through their public statements. The pronouncements of these officials have created more confusion,” he wrote in a press statement.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show, Mr. Ata-Bedu argued that the controversial agreement has a lot of questions that need answers.
Ata-Bedu says the government should not have sole-sourced Zipline
According to him, the government’s argument that Zipline was sole-sourced because they are the only dealers on the continent does not hold water because, there are three top companies in the world offering the deal of which Zipline is part.
He explained that government “could have used Competitive Tender and given Zipline a margin of preference for operating in Africa.”
He also argued that the termination clause in the agreement does not inure well to Ghana because it is based on “termination for cause” but there is no provision for termination for convenience.
So if Ghana finds that it does not need a certain number of deliveries [which payment is based on] the state would have to pay judgement debt to terminate the agreement.
Ata-Bedu also raised questions on the payment module which according to him keeps shooting up by successive units consumed instead of coming down.
When Zipline does less than 15 deliveries a month, Ghana pays nothing but when they do 15 deliveries, Ghana pays $11,000. Performing 50 deliveries will cost $27,000 and 100 will cost $88,000.
This, according to Mr. Ata-Bedu suggests that, “there is a clear question that needs an answer.”
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