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Sputnik V saga: Pressure on Health and Finance Ministers to resign needless, says analyst

Ken Ofori-Atta and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Ken Ofori-Atta and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Charles Mensah, a financial analyst, has described calls on the Finance and Health Ministers to resign over the botched Sputnik V vaccine contract as needless.

Ken Ofori-Atta and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu have come under heavy criticism for their roles in Ghana’s attempt to procure Sputnik V vaccines from Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a United Arab Emirates-based agent.

Sheikh Al Maktoum was due to supply roughly 300,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine under an agreement signed with the government, but his office delivered only 20,000.

The agent has since refunded the sum of US$2.47 million to the Government of Ghana, being the “remaining amount for the non-supplied doses” of the vaccines.

Refund received

Speaking to Asaase Radio‘s Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin, Charles Mensah said: “If deposit has been done and the transaction never took place and therefore processes have been made for refund to be made, and the refund has been received, let’s not go any further.”

He added: “We should stop those things, because it is not going to happen, [or] else tomorrow, if there is an emergency, nobody is going to act and people will lose [their] lives.”

Mensah believes people must be commended for their efforts to save lives, instead of the Ghanaian public undermining such initiatives.

“Don’t forget the president said [the economy], I can bring back, but lives I cannot. So when people are making efforts to protect lives, we should applaud them rather than condemn them.”

Pressure to resign

Meanwhile, the pressure group OccupyGhana has called for the resignation or dismissal of Agyeman-Manu, the Health Minister, over the Sputnik V vaccine contract.

Reacting to the recommendations by the Alexander Afenyo-Markin-led ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the Sputnik V deal, OccupyGhana said it does not believe the crisis situation brought about by the outbreak of disease was sufficient reason for the Health Minister to breach the law.

“We do not think that the emergency situation created by the pandemic, and the urgency required, constituted sufficient reasons to bypass all of these steps that are required by law. As Parliament has indicated, it would have acted with the speed and urgency that the emergency required, had the request for approval been made to it,” said a statement from OccupyGhana, dated 9 August 2021.

Fred Dzakpata

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