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General News of Wednesday, 28 July 2021


Sputnik V saga: 'It's not normal for a minister to sign a contract without thinking' - Prof Azar

Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu

• It is not normal for a Minister to sign a contract without thinking

• This is the view of Prof Azar on how Ghana through Health Minister sought to procure Sputnik V vaccines

• The said deal has been abrogated over irregularities

A private legal practitioner and professor of accounting, Stephen Kwaku Asare, popularly referred to as 'Kwaku Azar,' has reacted to a recent pronouncement by Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu on why he entered the now abrogated Sputnik V vaccine deal.

The Minister told a Parliamentary Committee that he was not thinking at the time he signed the contract because he was among other things, overwhelmed with the impact and damage the Coronavirus was wreaking.

But in a Facebook post, Kwaku Azar submitted: "It’s not normal for a minister of State to sign a multimillion dollar contract without thinking.

"It is even less normal for thinking people to justify a contract that was signed without thinking. And it is utterly abnormal to assume that things are normal under these circumstances. Something is wrong!" he added.

He joins a tall list of people especially on social media and across the political divide who have slammed the Minister's remarks stressing that elsewhere he would have resigned over the saga.

Ghana's bid to secure vaccines to inoculate a projected 17 million adult population meant government had to procure jabs beyond what was supplied under the WHO - UNICEF-led COVAX platform.

The Minister contacted a middleman to help secure Russia-made Sputnik V jabs but it turned out that the proper procurement processes were not followed as revealed in an exposé in a foreign newspaper.

The said contract has since been abrogated by government with Attorney General stating that portions of the deal were skewed against government.

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