A fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development, Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, has asked the government to opt out of the contract for the procurement of Sputnik-V vaccines for the national inoculation exercise against COVID-19.
Speaking on Citi FM/ Citi TV’s The Big Issue, Mr. Sarpong said the vaccine suppliers’ failure to meet initial timeliness should be enough reason for the government to terminate the deal.
“You go into a contract with someone, he had to deliver in March, he reneged, could not deliver. In April, he reneged, he could not deliver. 15th May he reneged, he could not deliver. We are in June, there is no sign of the vaccines coming, so you are left with one date, so what makes you think this person will meet the contractual agreement?. In the contract, is there a clause that if they do not meet the contractual agreement, you can opt out? The guys have breached the contract and if someone violates the terms of a contract, you move out.”
The government’s decision to procure the vaccines at $19 per dose instead of $10 became a topical issue after a Norwegian news tabloid, Verdens Gang reported it
Mr. Sarpong is disappointed that the government failed to do due diligence before entering the agreement for the procurement of the vaccines.
“I am aware that the advice from the Attorney General’s Department was for the contract to go to parliament. Did it? What happened to do due the diligence questions being asked by the people who have been entrusted to hold the executive to account?. “
Minority demands abrogation
The Minority in Parliament has also demanded the immediate abrogation of any contract between Ghana and any entity for the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines.
The government has explained that it could not secure the vaccines directly from the manufacturer, hence the need to go through some middlemen, and that explains why the cost is higher than the standard price of the Russian vaccine.
But the minority disagrees with the position of the government.