The Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, has pointed out that the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu is making a mockery of Ghanaians.
According to Mr. Muntaka, Mr. Agyeman Manu’s actions, with regard to the procurement of the Sputnik V vaccines, will not be engaged in, by a Makola or Kejetia trader.
“Are they not making a mockery of all of us? I mean, with the greatest of respect, even the common trader in Makola or Kejetia market will tell you that when they want to buy things abroad, they would rather raise letters of credit so that when the person pays, the person is assured that his or her money is held, so that upon delivery, pays the money.
Now we have a government system that goes ahead to pay money when they’ve not received the product and now they are telling the private individual to return the money. This strengthens our belief that the Health Minister is deliberately acting,” he said on Topstory with Ernest Manu on Monday.
His comment followed a letter dated August 2, by the Health Minister addressed to Sheikh Al Maktoum, requesting a refund of the money paid for the non-supplied doses of the Sputnik V vaccines.
In the letter, Mr. Agyeman-Manu wrote, “by this letter, I also wish to formally request for the refund of the remaining amount for the non-supplied doses, which should be the total amount paid to your office, minus the amount due for the 20,000 doses you already supplied, in line with your earlier e-mail dated 25th July, 2021, in which it was affirmed that on the 13th April 2021, funds were transferred into your accounts as fifty percent (50%) advance for the initial batch of 300,000 doses.”
Mr. Muntaka explained that the Health Minister has Chaired the Public Accounts Committee when he surcharged public agency heads and individuals from government institutions for failing to adhere to procurement practices, therefore the Health Minister, “knew everything he was doing. He is exactly knowledgeable about everything he was doing.”
“The Minister of Health is very Senior Member of Parliament, he has been Deputy Minister, he is a Chartered Accountant, He has been the Vice-Chair of our Public Accounts Committee and later he became the Chair for 4 years… they’ve surcharged public agency heads and individuals… to refund money in some instances recommended for them to be prosecuted,” he said.
He added that the Minister was focused on what benefits they would have obtained from the deal, than trying to save Ghanaians.
“The 20,000 Sputnik V vaccines, when was it received? Where was it stored? Where was it administered? Where is it as we even speak? We didn’t find answers to that,” he said.
He added that the Minister’s comment that he had no idea of the payment made is, “an absolute lie.”
This, he said, is because the Ministry of Finance will never start a process of payment until the agency involved gives them the go-ahead.
“If they are claiming that so far as his knowledge was concerned, he was not aware it was paid, then that opens us more for further investigations on who authorized the Ministry of Finance to make the payment, why didn’t the Ministry of Finance follow through to ensure the documentations were right? Why did Bank of Ghana move ahead to transfer the money,” he asked.
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