SPUTNIK V VACCINE SAGA

*On the matter of Ghana’s purchase of overpriced Sputnik V Vaccines:*

The NPP government is focusing on profit for themselves through over pricing instead of getting the covid-19 vaccines for Ghanaians.

1. According to the Norwegian online newspaper, VG, which investigated and broke this corruption scandal, Ghana has entered into an agreement with one Sheik Ahmed Dalmook to procure 3.4 million doses of Sputnik v vaccines from Russia, at a price of $19 per dose.

2. The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta has indicated that the government of Ghana has already paid for 300,000 doses at a price $5.7 million.

* This deal is shady and a ripoff of monumental proportions for the following reasons:

3. The Russian government has indicated that the approved international market price of the Sputnik v Vaccine is less than $10 dollars per dose. See https://sputnikvaccine.com/newsroom/pressreleases/the-cost-of-one-dose-will-be-less-than-10-for-international-markets/.

4. According to the Norwegians, Countries like Slovakia, Hungary etc. have bought shots of the Sputnik v vaccine at the approved price of approximately $10 per dose directly from Russia.

5. India only recently bought millions of Sputnik v vaccine shots at a price of Rs995 equivalent to $13 per dose. This price is inclusive of a Goods and Services Tax of 5%. See https://www.businesstoday.in/coronavirus/russia-sputnik-v-vaccine-to-cost-rs-995-per-dose-rollout-from-next-week/story/439053.html.

6. The Africa Union, AU, has also entered into an agreement with the Russian state for 300 million doses of the Sputnik v Vaccine at a price of $9.75 per dose for its member states, including Ghana. So why couldn’t the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government leverage this arrangement for a cheaper price? Why are we paying $19 when the AU is getting the same thing at $9.75? See https://www.ft.com/content/ffe40c7d-c418-4a93-a202-5ee996434de7

7. As we speak, the NPP/Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has contracted a Ghanaian company to supply shots of the same Sputnik v Vaccine at $13 per dose. So why this inflated $19 per dose deal with the Dubai Sheik for the same product?

8. It is instructive to note, that the NPP/Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government did not present this deal, which is an international business transaction within the meaning of article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution, to Parliament for approval. The deal is therefore unconstitutional and null and void.

9. Moreover, two (2) of the intermediaries involved in this corrupt deal, one Umar Farook and Hansen are wanted for fraud, money laundering and other related crimes in Norway and Europe. Clearly the government of Ghana was comfortable dealing with criminals because their interest was to profit from covid-19.

10. When the Norwegian newspaper, VG, queried the intermediaries about the details of their $19 charge to ascertain whether or not there has been value for money and whether or not the $19 charge is a fair market price, they declined to answer on grounds of confidential agreements they have entered into with the corrupt NPP/Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government. This highlights the shadiness of the whole deal. Why will our government want the pricing details of a deal of considerable public interest such as this to remain a secret? What do they have to hide?

11. The claim by government that they had to resort to these intermediaries with questionable integrity and reputation, because their efforts at getting the Sputnik v Vaccine from the Russian government was unsuccessful is untenable. The facts show that African countries like Egypt, Algeria etc. have had direct access and engagements with the Russian State for the Sputnik v Vaccine and so, the government of Ghana could have done same.

12. Besides the RDIF of Russia has already begun clinical trials of their one dose “light” version of Sputnik V shots in Ghana as we speak. This should have made it easier for the NPP/Bawumia/Akufo-Addo government to have directly engaged the Russian State for the Sputnik v vaccine at the approved international market price. If countries like Algeria, Egypt, Hungary, Slovakia, Honduras etc. are dealing directly with the Russian government, why is Ghana going through phony intermediaries?

13. This deal has further exposed the corrupt tendencies of the NPP/Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government who have continuously sought to profit from COVID-related expenditures in the fight against the pandemic right from the outset. The highly-inflated $150 antigen test scandal at KIA involving Frontiers Health Services, the bloated amount of money they claim to have spent on hot meals and dry food for a few Ghanaians during the 3-week partial lockdown among others, bear this fact out.

14. It’s clear that this deal is naked thievery and inimical to the interest of Ghana. The greedy Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government is once again shortchanging the people of this country. Ghana will lose over $20 million if this corrupt deal is not suspended immediately.

This money can be channeled into many useful ventures to address some of the challenges confronting Ghanaians and for the benefit of the country or can even be used to buy more vaccines for many Ghanaians.

15. The deal is unconstitutional and null and void. It must be suspended forthwith and payments made under same must be refunded back into the state coffers. More importantly, Parliament must launch a full scale bi-partisan investigation into this corrupt deal.

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