The Minority in Parliament has announced that it will be seeking a bi-partisan probe into the hiring of veiled company, Frontiers Health Services, to undertake the COVID-19 antigen test administration at the Kotoka International Airport.
At a press conference Thursday, Minority Leader, HarunaIddrisu, announced that the Motion was ready.
“We wish to serve notice that the NDC caucus has prepared a motion demanding a bi-partisan parliamentary inquiry into the Frontiers affair,” Hon. Iddrisu told journalists at Parliament House.
He hinted that one of the questions the Minority will seek to explore with the probe was the government’s decision to hire Frontiers, a private company whose owner is said to be a Nigerian billionaire with companies registered in tax havens under labyrinthine arrangements.
Especially so, Hon. Iddrisu said when Ghana’s own Noguchi Memorial Institute was available and could do a better job than Frontiers which reportedly did not even have its own laboratory when it was hired to administer the Covid-19 test.
And Frontiers, he points out had been charging a whopping US$150per test, so that in a matter of months that private company raked in some US$16million while the Kotoka Airport was given a paltry US$1million.
“You have all heard of the recent response by the Minister for Transport to my urgent question, on how a private company – Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited was chosen at the neglect of reputable public institutions such as Noguchi has raked in a colossal 16.3m dollars for charging travellers US$150 for the less sensitive and inferior antigen test. Sadly, Kotoka International Airport was handed a paltry $1million. Do note that these fantastic profits for Frontiers are just for the period September to December 2020.”
According to the Minority Leader, the contract also breached the country’s laws.
“The Procurement law, Health Institutions and Facilities Act and the Fees and Charges Act were all breached to pave way for this hurriedly incorporated company without any track record whatsoever,” Haruna Iddrissu said.
He adds, “We have always been of the opinion that an institution like the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research should have been given that contract instead of a veiled foreign-owned company whose ownership we cannot clearly delineate. But regardless of our calls for answers, neither the Minister of Health, the Ghana Health Service nor anyone in authority seems to know the processes that led to the award of that contract.”