‘Overpriced’ Sputnik V contract through middlemen cancelled – Agyeman Manu
The Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has told a bi-partisan Parliamentary Probe Committee that government has cancelled the controversial contract for the supply of Sputnik V vaccines through an intermediary.
Under the said contract, Ghana procured Sputnik V Vaccines at a unit cost of 19 dollars as against the ex-factory price of 10 dollars per dose.
Appearing before the nine-member committee in Parliament on Thursday, July 15, 2021, Agyeman Manu said the contract was terminated because Sheik Al Makhtoum and SL Global could not supply the vaccine doses procured.
According to him, this was after the middlemen requested to cancel the contract after they couldn’t meet the deadline in the agreement.
He thus said, “so as I sit here, there is no contract between the two of us.”
“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.”
About the Sputnik V brouhaha
The country has been struggling to get more vaccines to reach its target of immunising 20 million citizens.
It later emerged that the government is using the services of middlemen to procure some of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines but at a higher cost of US$19 other than the original factory price of US$ 10.
This move has not gone done well with some stakeholders, including the Minority in Parliament, which called for the abrogation of the procurement contract.