The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has told a bi-partisan Parliamentary Probe Committee that the company that agreed to supply Ghana with the overpriced Sputnik V vaccines has terminated the contract it had with the country.
Under the said contract, Ghana was to receive 3.4 million doses of 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 could not supply the vaccines as promised.
“So, as I sit here, there is no contract between the two of us.”
The Minister used the opportunity to explain to the committee why the contract was cancelled.
He said the intermediary had told the government that the first 300,000 doses would be supplied within two weeks but failed to deliver the vaccines.
“They came back to [tell] us that they had run out of stock and that they were waiting on the manufacturer to supply them, so that they would, in turn, supply us in two weeks.”
“After two weeks we went back to them, but they said still they haven’t received the vaccines from the manufacturer. 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,” the Health Minister noted.
About the Sputnik V brouhaha
The country has been struggling to get more vaccines to reach its target of inoculating 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 contract.