Politics

Fact-check: Sputnik V contract shows Ministry of Health lied

It has emerged that the account of the Ministry of Health (MoH) in explaining how the Government of Ghana reached an agreement with a private middleman to procure Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines is not accurate.

Contrary to claims by the MoH that it was the middleman who made an offer to which the Ministry responded, documents sighted by 3news.com show otherwise.

MoH’s narrative

In reaction to allegations by a Norwegian newspaper publication that the Government of Ghana used middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines at a unit price of $19 instead of the ex-factory price of $10, the MoH put out what it said were “facts about the process”.

In the said facts, as were contained in the June 9 press statement, the country agreed with one Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum to procure the vaccines at the price alleged – in essence confirming the allegations.

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However, in giving a step-by-step account of how the government had to settle on the deal, the Ministry said all attempts to get the vaccine at the ex-factory price of $10 failed.

The MoH claimed it responded to an offer made to the government by Sheikh’s office which eventually led to the signing of the agreement.

“Against the background of non-response from direct channels and global shortages of the vaccines, the MoH, on 9th March 2021, responded to an offer from the private office of H.H Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the supply of a total quantity of 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines, at a unit cost of $19,” the MoH explained.

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The contract

This explanation, however, is not a true reflection of what was signed off in the contract between the Government of Ghana and Sheikh’s office. The contract available to 3news.com shows that it was the Government of Ghana which rather approached Sheikh’s office.

“The Buyer approached the Seller to sell and supply Vaccine to the Buyer and the Seller is willing to sell and supply the Vaccine to Buyer, subject to the following terms and conditions,” part of the contract reads.

Contradictions

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There have also been some observed contradictions from government officials regarding what the facts are on the matter.

While Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta confirmed that some money has already been paid for the vaccines, Chairman of the Health Committee of Parliament Dr Ayew Afriyie claims no money has been paid yet.

“So far no funds have gone anywhere, about seven companies have letters and various prices ranging between $12 to $19 so if the impression is created as if it is one company,” he said while addressing the press at Parliament.

-3news

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