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General News of Wednesday, 21 July 2021


Stephen Amoah defends Health Minister over Sputnik V deal

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu

Member of Parliament for the Nhyiaeso constituency, Dr Stephen Amoah, has pointed out that he sees nothing wrong in the acknowledgement of the Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, that he made an error in judgement concerning the acquisition of ‘overpriced’ Sputnik V vaccines from Russia through an Emirati middleman.

He thus fingered the Public Financial Management Act 2016(PFM Act) 921, section 18, which he said is emphatic on three conditions such as State of Emergency, Natural Disaster and Health Epidemic/Pandemic as the grounds to suspend the ‘physical’ rules in the country.

Dr Amoah said, with the PFM Act 2016 in force since the advent of the COVID-19, decisions that are taken by the government are those that are between saving lives and money in the country.

He said, no one would expect the Health Minister to go through all the usual protocol of going to parliament to seek approval for the Sputnik V deal from the august house.

Dr Amoah said the law is emphatic on the point that the rate at which people were dying and a lot of panic in the country, it is expected that the Minister of Health would act the way he did unless we are being hypocritical about the deaths in the country.

He made this pronouncement in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the 'New Day' show on TV3, Wednesday, July 21.

Dr Amoah was commenting on the back of the acknowledgement by the Minister of Health Kwaku Agyeman-Manu that he acted in error without consultation from parliament in the acquisition of ‘overpriced’ Sputnik V vaccines from Russia through the Emirati Middleman Sheikh Ahmed Al Dalmook Al Maktoum into the country.

“Let me tell you, the Public Financial Management Act(PFM Act 2016) 921, Section 18, it is stated emphatically three conditions, State of Emergency, Natural Disaster and Health Epidemic or pandemic, just as we are having, even in times like this, our physical rules and policies are to be suspended. So even now, decisions that are to be taken are decisions between saving lives and money,” he pointed out.

He continued “and one wouldn’t have expected that people could go through parliament, looking at the way people were dying and panicking, unless we are not being honest with Ghanaians. People were dying in a serious disaster, even you think the PFM Act would have stated that? What is wrong with that? Per the circumstances, what result did we get? Ghana is counted as one of the best managers of COVID-19 economy saving a lot of lives, I would rather support what will save lives than money.”

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