Charging US$150 for COVID-19 test at Kotoka Airport is illegal – Minority leader

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The Minority in Parliament is questioning the circumstances under which Frontiers Health Services Limited was awarded the contract to test passengers for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Kotoka International Airport. 

In the view of the caucus, the circumstances surrounding the award to the contract to a company registered in the tax haven of Dominica Republic, is opaque and that government must provide clarity on the processes leading to the award. 

At a media briefing in Parliament yesterday, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, asked: “How was this contract for charging US$150 per passenger awarded? What procurement process was used?”

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Over 30,000 passengers tested so far at Kotoka International Airport – Nana Addo

According to him, per their sources, the company was registered on July 21, 2020, just few days to the commencement of its operations.

“The company, as we have investigated, is owned by Health Care Solution Services Limited which is owned by the Peters Family Company Limited also incorporated in June 2020. 

“The Peters Family Company Limited itself is registered as an offshore company in Dominica Republic. 

“Therefore we don’t want to believe this is another case of family and friends business,” the Tamale South MP said. 

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Mr Iddrisu said despite the rule that without a laboratory, an entity is not qualified to undertake testing, Frontiers Health Services Limited without a laboratory has been awarded the contract. 

“We are aware that the company solicited for the support of the co-ordinator of the National Laboratory Network for COVID-19 testing to enable them do their work. 

“How come they were chosen for the purpose of this?” he asked. 

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, he alleged, was conducting the test for and on behalf of Frontiers Health Services Limited. 

“So to save government money, why didn’t you just award the contract to Noguchi?” he queried. 

Declaring their undying support for the fight against the COVID-19, Mr Iddrisu said they won’t relent on their demand for transparency and accountability in the use of funds made available to the government for the fight against the virus. 

“We are demanding more transparency and accountability in the use of COVID-19 resources. It is not enough to come and tell us that we have spent this amount on this or that.”

Source: Ghanaian Times