Officials of the Ministry of Health have defended the mode of procurement for the Sputnik V vaccines through an intermediary.
They argue that the procurement laws of the country allow under certain circumstances the use of single-source procurement before ratification by the Public Procurement Authority.
The public hearing of the bi-partisan committee probing the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, focused largely focused on the question of the procurement method used.
The Acting Director of Procurement at the Ministry of Health, Romeo Kofi Tetteh, who appeared before the committee, said “it is only under single-source that you have to apply for ratification; but because under the circumstances, you could not apply for a single source, we went ahead to do it. It is right to apply to them and explain what necessitated that. “‘
“They will, in turn, come in to investigate the reasons you presented and determine whether to accept and grant you the approval or not. Honourable Chair, it is right to use the single source and ratify.”
The Minister of Health has already told the bi-partisan committee that the company that agreed to supply Ghana with the overpriced Sputnik V vaccines has terminated the contract it had with the country.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu, who is a board member of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, admitted that he did not seek cabinet and parliamentary approval before engaging a private individual for the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines.
Under the said contract, Ghana was to receive 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V Vaccines at a unit cost of $19 instead of the ex-factory price of $10 per dose.
The issue first came to light when a Norwegian news outlet, Verdens Gang, reported that Ghana had requested to purchase the doses of the Sputnik V vaccine through two businessmen who are selling it to Ghana at $19 per dose instead of the $10 per dose on the international market
The initial price quoted for the vaccine was US$25, but it was negotiated downwards to US$19, according to the Ghana Health Service.