A member of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) Communications Team, Solomon Owusu has urged embattled Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu to resign now to end the brouhaha over his conduct in the purchase of Sputnik V vaccines.
A cross-section of Ghanaians has been piling pressure on the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, to resign or be sacked by the President over Ghana’s botched Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal.
This comes after an ad-hoc parliamentary committee tasked to probe the deal recommended that efforts should be made to retrieve over GHS16 million expended as part of the deal.
The Minority in Parliament has threatened to pass a vote of censure on the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu.
Commenting on the issue on Ghana Kasa show on Kasapa 102.5FM, Solomon Owusu, a known firebrand politician stated that his fellow party member (Health Minister), unconvincing answers when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee probing the deal makes him unfit to still occupy that all-important office.
“I insist that the minister steps aside so that the country can move on in peace because it is clear he didn’t do things right. The more you hear issues about this matter the more worrying you get. The Minister may have intended well but things didn’t work out well. He should not allow people to convince him to stay in office. The more he stays, the more things get worrying.”
He added: “He should resign and stop people who are unfit to comment on the issue like Muntaka to shut up. When I hear someone like Muntaka (Minority Chief Whip) speak on this matter I get angry. He was involved in a terrible scandal when he was Minister for Youth and Sports under late President Mills and he now has the effrontery to comment on this matter. He thinks we’ve forgotten about that scandal. He should give us a break.”
The beleaguered minister was exposed by an adhoc committee of parliament when it found out that the minister sidestepped procurement procedures and an approval from cabinet and parliament when he signed off a US$5,700,000.00 contract with a questionable middleman for the procurement of some 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V COVID 19 Vaccines at AN initial unit cost of $19 instead of the ex-factory price of $10 per dose.
The parliamentary probe further uncovered that the minister lied under oath when he denied authorizing payment at a time correspondence at the behest of the committee obtained from the Bank of Ghana stated otherwise.
The committee report stated: “Out of the total amount of US$5,700,000.00 owed to Sheikh Al Maktoum, an amount of US$2,850,000.00 representing 50% has been paid to him and that translates into a Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00 converted at the exchange rate of US$1 to GH¢5.73.”