The Minority in Parliament believes Ghana was short-changed in the deal with Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited with regard to COVID-19 testing services at the Kotoka International Airport.
The government engaged Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct the rapid COVID-19 tests at KIA following the reopening of the airport to international passenger flights in September 2020.
The 30-minute PCR COVID-19 test initially attracted a $150 fee but was subsequently reviewed.
While the amount was maintained for non-ECOWAS citizens, those from any of the West African countries were to pay $50 for such services at Kotoka International Airport.
The MPs on the Minority side had earlier raised concerns about the transparency of the COVID-19 testing deal at the KIA
KIA COVID-19 tests raked in $17.3M in 4-months; Airport Company gets $1.1M
It later emerged that an amount of $17.3 million was realized between September and December 2020 from COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport.
Out of this amount, $16.2 million was retained by Frontiers Health Services, while the Ghana Airport Company received $1.1 million.
According to the Member of Parliament for the Juaboso Constituency in the Western Region, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, during the ministerial vetting, it came to light that the deal benefitted Frontiers Healthcare more than it did for the government.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Akandoh stated that the Minority was seeking to investigate the deal because it seemed questionable.
“There was a press conference that was addressed by the Minority Leader and one of them was the Frontiers issue. We think that Ghana is being short-changed because there was a question that was filed on the floor of the house to know how much that particular company has raked in, and we realised that they are taking home more than $16 million while the Ghana government is taking $1 million.”
“We think that Noguchi could have conducted this particular COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport, and therefore we must investigate what really went on because, during the vetting of the ministers, it came out clearly that even before they began their operations at Kotoka, some statutory or regulatory bodies had not cleared them, and they started taking $150 per test and all that. These are issues we want to go into and find out why we signed an agreement and within four months, the private company is getting more than the Ghana government,” he added.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, had earlier dragged the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, to Parliament, to account for proceeds from the COVID-19 testing exercise at the Kotoka International Airport.
In an urgent question, the Tamale South Member of Parliament was seeking information regarding the funds accrued from the contract between the Ghana Airport Company and Frontiers Healthcare Services as of the end of December 2020.
The question requested for a breakdown of the amount accrued from the testing and how much of it was allocated to the respective parties in the deal.