Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Health Minister, has admitted that he did not conduct adequate due diligence before contracting with the private office of one Emirati Sheikh, H.H Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, for 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V at a unit cost of $19.
A Norwegian journalist, Markus Tobiassen, who works for the tabloid Vergens Gan, discovered that the deal had been inflated by $9, citing the ex-factory price of the vaccine as $10.
Mr. Agyemang-Manu testified before the committee that the demands of the Covid-19 impaired his ability to carry out his normal duties.
“Those were not normal times and I was seriously in a situation that didn’t make me think properly, the way you think that now I will actually abreast myself with the situation”, he told the committee Monday, July 19.
The minister stated that the entire transaction was reached out of desperation and frustration on the part of his office, which is why he did not seek parliamentary approval for the international transaction, as required by Article 181 (5) of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
“February, 78, March 56, there were the numbers and if you, any of us here were the Health Minister at the time I think you might have taken certain decisions that in hindsight or going forward you may not have done those things. This was the environment that I found myself in. Out of desperation, frustration, so many things and people were dying we needed to protect our citizens”
Meanwhile, he explained last Friday why he had to disregard the Attorney-General’s advice on the matter.