Minister of Health writes to demand for refund of money paid for Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines

Kwaku Agyemang Manu

Mr Kwaku Agyemen-Manu, the Minister of Health, has formally requested Sheikh Ahmed Dalmood Al Maktoum, to refund GH¢16,331,640, paid to him for the supply of 300,000 doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

The Minister’s action is in line with recommendations of the Parliamentary Ad hoc Committee, that the amount be retrieved from Sheikh Ahmed Dalmood Al Maktoum, an Emirati businessman, who acted as a vender in a contract with the Health Ministry to procure some 3.4 million doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine for Ghana.

The Minister in a letter dated on August 2, 2021, requested that 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 your already supplied, in line with our earlier e-mail dated on July 25, 2021, in which it was affirmed that on April 13, 2021, funds were transferred into your accounts as 50 per cent advance for the initial batch of 300 000 doses”.

The letter further explained the “request for refund is in line with clause 8.2 of the Agreement, which states that: any termination of this Agreement, which shall be notice in writing to the other Party, shall not affect any rights, remedies, obligations or liabilities of the Parties that have accrued up to the date of termination”.

“It would be very much appreciated if the amount is transferred back into the sending bank account as per the earlier swift advice dated April 9, 2021,” the Minister wrote in the letter.

This came after the Ad hoc Committee tasked to investigate the deal regarding the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines, found out that the amount of $2.85 million representing 50 per cent of the contract sum of $5.7 million, had been paid to Messrs Al Maktoum despite the Minister’s claim that no payment had been made to the best of his knowledge.

The amount, which translates into the cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640 when converted at the then prevailing exchange rate of $1 to GH¢5.73, was for the cost of 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

However Sheikh Al Maktoum presented Ghana with 20,000 doses of the vaccine instead of the initially agreed 300,000 doses for the first batch, hence the Committee had tasked the Ministry of Finance to retrieve the balance of GH¢16,331,640, paid for the cost of the non-supplied doses.

The Minister in the letter to the Sheikh, asked him to refund the remaining amount for the 280,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines that had not been supplied.

Sheikh Al Maktoum in response to the letter, has agreed to refund the money paid to him by Ghana for the undelivered vaccines.

Source: GNA

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