Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Health Minister, has said the ‘overpriced’ Sputnik V vaccine contract with middle-man, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, has been terminated.
Under the Sputnik V vaccine contract, Ghana procured the vaccines at a unit cost of 19 dollars as against the ex-factory price of 10 dollars per dose.
The minister told a nine-member bi-partisan Parliamentary Probe Committee, Thursday, July 15, that Sheikh Maktoum wrote to his outfit on Wednesday to terminate the contract.
Agyeman-Manu said, the businessman in his letter explained that, he took that decision because he “is struggling to raise vaccines”.
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Sheikh Al Maktoum had brought the initial consignment to demonstrate the availability of the commodity; however, the suppliers decided to withdraw from the contract after several attempts to get the vaccine from the manufacturers yielded no result.
But the minister said, “We are not just terminating the contract because, after the contract, they gave us two weeks to supply the first 300,000 doses of the vaccines that we have ordered based on the letters of credit we have given them, as part of the terms of the agreement, but our letters of credit were delayed but got to them later. They came back to [tell] us that they have run out of stock and that they are waiting on the manufacturer to supply them, and they will supply us in two weeks.
“After two weeks we enquired, and they have said still they haven’t received it. So we started engaging them that if that is the matter, they should permit us to withdraw from the contract so that we can do something different and buy vaccines for ourselves, because our faith in them to supply [the vaccines] was waning. So we continuously put pressure on them and they gave us [until] July. They later gave us verbal notice that they will not be able to supply any longer, and so we requested that they terminate the agreement, which they have actually done. So, as we sit here, there is no contract between the two of us,” Agyeman-Manu stressed.
The health minister further indicated that, a second contract with another intermediary, S. L. Global, which is a Ghanaian company, is under review.
“We still haven’t issued and credit letter to S. L. Global. Although the contract exists, the company is also given indications that they will not be able to supply. So we are still engaging them,” Agyeman-Manu said.