Asaase Radio can confirm that the Presidency granted the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, leave he requested for on the 28th July 2021.
The period of his requested leave was for two weeks, between 16th and 30th of August 2021. Mr Agyeman Manu would resume his duties as Health Minister on the 31st of August 2021 after his leave. The Health Minister’s leave is to enable him “deal with pressing constituency and family issues”.
There have been speculations that the Health Minister has requested to proceed on leave as a result of political pressure over the role he played in the botched Sputnik V vaccine procurement contract.
Reacting to the recommendations of the Alexander Afenyo-Markin-led ad-hoc parliamentary committee set up to investigate the controversial Sputnik V vaccine deal, OccupyGhana for example, has said it does not believe the emergency situation created by the pandemic was sufficient reason for the health minister to breach the country’s procurement laws.
“We do not think that the emergency situation created by the pandemic and the urgency required, constituted sufficient reasons to bypass all of these steps that are required by law. As Parliament has indicated, it would have acted with the speed and urgency that the emergency required, had the request for approval been made to it,” OccupyGhana’s statement dated 9 August 2021 said.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has officially written to Sheikh Al Maktoum to refund to the government of Ghana the “remaining amount for the non-supplied doses” of Sputnik V vaccines.
Sheikh Al Maktoum was due to supply about 300, 000 Sputnik V vaccines in an agreement signed with the government, however, his outfit only delivered 20,000 doses.
The Parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the controversial Sputnik V vaccine deal, has ordered the finance minister to retrieve the US$2.85 million (GHC16,331,640) paid to Sheikh Al Maktoum as part payment to procure Sputnik V vaccines.
“By this letter, I also wish to formally request for the refund of the remaining amount for the non-supplied doses, which should be the total amount paid to your office, minus the amount due for the 20, 000 doses you already supplied, in line with your earlier email dated 25 July 2021 in which it was affirmed that on the 13 April 2021 funds were transferred into your accounts as 50% advance for the initial batch of 300, 000 doses,” the letter dated 2 August 2021 and signed by the minister said.
“It would be very much appreciated if the amount is transferred back into the sending bank account as per the earlier swift advice dated 9 April 2021,” the letter added.
Response by UAE Agent
In response to the Health Minister’s letter, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates-based agent in Ghana’s botched attempt to procure Sputnik V vaccines, has agreed to refund the sum of US$2.47 million to the Government of Ghana, being the “remaining amount for the non-supplied doses” of the vaccines.
Sheikh Al Maktoum was due to supply about 300,000 Sputnik V vaccines in an agreement signed with the government, but his outfit delivered only 20,000.
The parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the controversial Sputnik V vaccine deal has ordered the Finance Minister to retrieve the money.
In a letter addressed to the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Sheikh Al Maktoum said that “we shall initiate the refund process to your bank account”.