“Our minister responsible for finance is a threat to our economy,” the Member of Parliament for Juaboso Kwabena Mintah Akandoh has said.
His comments come after the Minority claim that the government has swindled Ghanaians in the deal to procure Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine at $19 per dose.
‘It’s very disrespectful to say that I should apologise’ – Sarkodie defends cigar smoking (VIDEO)
According to him, the approval of GH¢16 million for the purchase of the vaccine by the minister without parliamentary approval is shocking.
An investigation by a Norwegian newspaper, VG demanding answers as the government was accused of buying the vaccines at the $19 price per dose despite global competitive prices hovering around $10.
The paper also alleges one of the intermediaries negotiating the deal is wanted by Norwegian Police for alleged financial crimes.
Lead investigator at VG newspaper, Markus Tobiassen indicated that the numbers put out by the government on the procurement do not add up.
The Ministry of Finance in response to the story said the vaccines were purchased to “protect” people.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, when asked why he purchased the vaccine for $19 per dose, he said: “I don’t know. You know, you are confronted with “the good guys” from the West not giving you any assurances of supply [of vaccines], and you have 30 million people and are to save lives. You know, it’s easy to sit somewhere else and say: Why are you doing this? But you need to make sure you protect your people. You manage that as well as you can. This is all a contrived and manufactured crisis, because clearly there are enough [vaccines] to go around if only there was equity and justice in what we are doing.”
Following this reportage, the Minority in Parliament has called for a thorough investigation into the matter.
The NDC MP speaking on the floor of Parliament said “our minister responsible for finance is a threat to our economy. And I say so because if you go to page 101, the man has made a payment of GH¢16 million to procure vaccines outside this country. Without insisting on the required procedure.”
However, Akandoh’s assertion was challenged by the Okaikoi Central MP Patrick Yaw Boamah who deemed the comments to be prejudicial since the ad hoc committee was yet to present its report to the plenary.
He said: “Mr. Speaker, I think you made a referral to a special committee investigating this matter. This is a prejudicial statement from a member of that committee and he must recuse himself from that committee before the report comes to this house.
“It’s a prejudicial statement from a whole member of that committee that you set up. Mr. Speaker, I don’t know if you’ve seen the report, it’s a very dangerous comment coming from a ranking member of the health and a vice-chair of a committee that you have set up to investigate the matter and report to this house. To make comments on the minister of finance’s statement is airing his views on that committee to the floor which is very dangerous.”
Source: Pulse Ghana