Sputnik V vaccine contract has been terminated— Kwaku Agyeman-Manu
The contract between Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, Emirati businessman, and the Government of Ghana for the former to supply 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines, has been terminated, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has disclosed.
The minister explained that the cancelation of the agreement was because the businessman “is struggling to raise the vaccines.”
Appearing before the nine-member ad hoc committee constituted by Parliament to probe the agreement between Ghana and the middle-man and Ghanaian firm SL Global, Mr Agyeman-Manu said the termination came at no cost to Ghana.
A letter, dated, July 14, 2021, terminating the contract, a copy of which the Ghanaian Times has sighted, indicates that Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum said he had endured series of challenges to raise the vaccines since supplying Ghana with a consignment of 20,000 doses early on in the year.
“They are not only terminating it July 14, 2021 because they had earlier given us verbal notice that they will not be able to supply any longer,” the minister clarified.
Mr Agyeman-Manu told the committee chaired by Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, MP for Effutu, that after the contract was signed in March, this year, the Emirati firm gave two weeks to supply the first 300,000 doses ordered, based on government’s ability to give them letters of credit as part of the terms of the agreement.
He stated that “Our letters of credit delayed [but eventually got to them] and they came back to us after, that they had ran out of stock and that Russia was going to supply them more stock and then they would supply us in two weeks.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said “After two weeks, we enquired and they said they still haven’t gotten the supplies so we started engaging them that if that is the matter, they should permit us to amicably withdraw from the contract so that we can do something different to find vaccines for ourselves because our faith in them to supply was waning.
“We continued putting pressure on them and they gave us July to deliver but to no serious avail so yesterday, they wrote this letter to terminate the contract. So as we sit here, there is no contract between the two parties”.
According to the minister, who is also MP, Dormaa Central, SL Global had also indicated its inability to procure the vaccines adding “because of the scarcity, SL Global is giving us indications that they will not be able to supply, so we are still engaging.”
He gave the assurance that arrangements were in place to secure vaccines for the country, saying that his outfit was motivated to take the middlemen route because supplies from the big platforms were going to delay for nearly six months at a time Ghana was recording most COVID-19 fatalities in February, this year.
Mr Agyeman-Manu said using middlemen to procure vaccines for the country was done with no other consideration, but to ensure that Ghana secured the vaccines so as to be able to protect the citizenry from the dreaded coronavirus disease.
“With a market price of US$10 per dose, Ghana was to purchase the vaccines for US$19 and US$26 from the middlemen. Alarmed by the terms of the contract, the Minority pushed for the constitution of the committee to probe why the country was procuring the vaccines at such “exorbitant” price, he said.
The bi-partisan committee has three weeks to present its findings to the plenary of the House.