The Ministry of Health has clarified that the sector Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, received information about payment to Messrs Al Maktoum, in respect of the Sputnik V contract, after he appeared before the committee probing the deal.
In a letter dated August 3, 2021, addressed to the Committee, the Ministry’s Head of Legal Affairs, Alhaji Inua Yusif, explained that, “subsequent to the last appearance of the Honourable Minister for Health with his technical team before your Honourable Committee, some new information has come to the notice of the Ministry of Health that, some funds have been transferred by the Government of Ghana to the Private Office of H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum in respect of the Agreement for the supply of Sputnik V Vaccine.”
The letter is in reaction to a revelation by the ad hoc Committee set up by Parliament to probe the procurement of Sputnik vaccines that, the Health Minister paid 50% of the contract sum to Messrs Al Maktoum prior to appearing before them.
The government had paid $2,850,000 of $5,700,000 in the controversial Sputnik vaccine deal. However, Mr. Agyeman-Manu denied knowledge of any payment when he testified before the ad hoc Committee.
The Health Minister, who said he signed the deal with Sheikh Al Maktoum to purchase 3.4 million doses of the vaccine, because of the dire situation of the country at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, added that “to the best of my knowledge, we haven’t done any payment.”
The Minister of Finance was subsequently asked by the Committee to take steps to recover $2,850,000, being the cost of the Sputnik V vaccines that were proposed to be procured.
Meanwhile, attached to the Health Ministry’s letter addressed to the ad hoc Committee are three documents the Ministry claimed it received subsequently.
They are; a letter from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to the Bank of Ghana in respect of an order of telegraphic transfer of funds, the Bank of Ghana foreign exchange transfer instructions and the Bank of Ghana notice of transfer of funds from the Government of Ghana to the Private Office of H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum.
The Health Ministry stated that it has tasked the Ministry of Finance to assist in recovering the remaining money paid minus the cost of 20,000 doses that have been supplied.
“In line with clause 8.2 of the Agreement, the Ministry of Health has taken steps by requesting for the assistance of the Ministry of Finance to recover the remaining amount from the Private Office of H. H. Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, which should be the total amount paid, minus the amount due for the 20.000 doses already supplied,” parts of the letter read.
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