As pressure mounts on the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, to resign following the lead role he played in the botched Sputnik V vaccine procurement, a Ranking Member on the Health Committee in Parliament, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, says calls for the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to also step down is also not out of place.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Akandoh maintained that not only must the head of the Health Minister roll and that the Finance Minister, who approved the release of GHS16 million for Dubai-based Sheikh Al Maktoum must also be sanctioned.
Meanwhile, the Sheikh has in response to a letter from the Health Minister requesting a refund agreed to pay the money. This is in spite of the Health Minister’s claim before the committee that he was not aware that any money had been expended for the vaccines.
“For me, based on where I sit, if we leave the public purse in the hands of the Minister responsible for Finance, we will not save anything as a country,” he said.
When asked specifically by the host of Eyewitness News, Umaru Sanda Amadu if Mr. Ofori-Atta must resign, Mr. Akandoh replied; “that will not be bad at all.”
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has come under intense criticism for breaching procurement processes while trying to secure Sputnik V vaccines for Ghana.
Agyeman-Manu confessed that he signed the agreement with the middlemen without parliamentary or cabinet approval. He also did not seek approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) prior to finalising the agreement with the middlemen, although the Attorney General is said on the record to have advised against the deal.
But Kwabena Mintah Akandoh who is also a member of the parliamentary committee that cited the Health Minister for violating procurement laws leading to the botched agreement says, his colleague Member of Parliament must relieve himself and not be allowed to escape unpunished.
“He [Health Minister] is the genesis of the whole matter, so the law must take its course. What will help Ghana is what we are looking for. If a Minister who is at post tells a committee that he couldn’t think properly in the face f a pandemic, that is why we have this issue at hand. So it is in his own interest to resign.”