The Ministry of Health has given an insight into why the Government of Ghana procured Sputnik V vaccines at $19 when the known factory price is pegged at $10.
Their comment comes after Norwegian tabloid Vergens Gang in an investigative report cited Ghana for purchasing the Russia-made vaccines from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) through some businessmen at $19 instead of $10.
The Ministry of Health in a press release noted that the US$10 price per dose is the ex-factory price but the government was unable to buy directly from the Russian government, hence, the use of the private office of one Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ghana government through Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu reportedly entered an agreement for the supply of 3.4 million doses at a unit cost of $19.
Chief Director of the Ministry, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari said “It should be noted that the US$10 price per dose, which is being proposed as the correct price, is the ex-factory price, which is only obtained from Government to Government arrangements. The Government of Ghana was unable to obtain direct supplies from the Russian Government as stated earlier, hence the resort to the market.”
The statement further explained that the initial price was $25 but had to negotiated downwards to $19 through efforts of the government.
It added that several factors including land transportation, shipment, handling and special storage charges among others contributed to the procurement of the vaccines at $19.
“This is the result of the cost build-up to the ex-factory price of US$10 per dose, taking into account land transportation, shipment, insurance, handling and special storage charges, as explained by the seller. These are the factors which led us to agree on the final price of US$19 per dose,” the Ministry stressed.
The vaccines are yet to be supplied, the Ministry’s statement noted.