Scandal-hit Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu says he has always been mindful of protecting the public purse in his bid to secure vaccines for Ghana in the wake of COVID-19.
The Minister who is facing calls for resignation following the botched Sputnik vaccine purchase in a statement said he is “guided by the mandate to protect the public purse at all times and as a Minister of Health and also safeguard Ghanaian lives especially during this pandemic.”
He also reiterated that the money he to the Sheikh in the failed deal has been paid back to the state.
He said “I would like to assure the general public that the Ministry of Health is working assiduously to access vaccines to enable vaccinations to be administered to the public. That is the surest way to win the battle against Covid-19”.
The Minority in Parliament two weeks ago demanded the revocation of the appointment of Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu over breaches in the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines through middlemen.
A report from parliament’s Ad hoc committee investigating the matter indicted the Health Minister of failing to seek parliamentary approval among others.
Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu in July this year admitted that he independently approved the purchase of a $64.6 million contract for Sputnik V Vaccine from Russia out of frustration.
He told the Ad Hoc Committee of Parliament tasked to probe the controversial Sputnik V vaccines procurement agreement that accumulated frustrations to procure the vaccines for the country compelled him to disregard parliamentary approval as required by Article 181 5 of the 1992 constitution.
In the minister’s justification, he had plans to formally seek parliamentary approval after independently approving the $64.6 million contract.