Deputy Director of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has criticised Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman- Manu’s handling of the procurement of Sputnik V vaccines from Sheikh Al – Maktoum.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Monday, August 9, Mr Bentil described the Minister’s decision to procure vaccines from a middleman without due process as a serious blunder that should not be overlooked.
“This [deal] went on with no approval from Parliament from the Ministerial level, no technical person was part of this multi-million international deal which had to do with a very serious product [vaccines] needed in a time of a pandemic. Nothing is as serious as this,” he said.
Mr Bentil who believes there is no justification for the act has joined the calls for the Minister’s resignation. He told host Winston Amoah that an illiterate trader would have brokered a better deal for the country.
“If we gave an illiterate trader a sovereign backing and said go and buy vaccines for the country, they would have done a better job,” he said.
Kofi Bentil was speaking on the back of the release of a report by the Parliamentary Committee that probed the Sputnik V vaccine contract.
Following the announcement of the Committee’s findings, a cross-section of the public, including the Minority in Parliament have mounted pressure on the Health Minister to resign.
Kofi Bentil did not stop at demanding the Health Minister’s resignation, he also called for a thorough probe into the tenure of Mr Agyeman-Manu since he (Kofi Bentil) suspects more unscrupulous deals may have taken place under his tenure.
“I honestly don’t think that resignation is the issue. Again, we need to find out how this was possible, how many of such things have happened and you need to plug whatever holes there are,” he said.
He further expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the Committee that conducted the probe over its failure to sanction the Health Minister. He said this exposes the inadequacies in the country’s checks and balances system.
“The Committee looking at this without any recommendation is serious malfeasance. This is extremely embarrassing. It is a situation you see in places where there is no government.
“I don’t know how any committee could have looked at this and not asked for a total systemic check of how all these checks and balances broke down. And I don’t know why the Minister is still in office,” he added.