Controversial Contract For Supply Of Sputnik V Vaccine Terminated – Health Minister

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has revealed that the agreement between the government of Ghana (GoG) and a company of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum for the supply of Russian Sputnik-V vaccines has been terminated.

According to the Minister, the private office of Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum wrote to him Wednesday, July 14, 2021, to terminate the contract explaining his company was facing challenges in sourcing the first 300,000 doses that were to be delivered within two weeks.

The Minister made the revelation when he appeared before a nine-member ad-hoc committee set up by Parliament to probe the contract agreement

It is not exactly clear what the name of the Sheikh’s company is as the authorities in Ghana have never provided it. However, the UAE royal is known to be connected with Aurgulf Health Investments, an Abu Dhabi-based company established late last year with close connections to Emirati royalty.

Per the agreement with Ghana, a total of 3.4 million Sputnik-V vaccines were to be supplied at US$19 excluding taxes at a total price of GH¢64 million. 

The US$19per jab however stirred controversy in Ghana because the Russians had been supplying the same vaccines through the outlet Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) at an ex-factory price of US$10 per dose.

According to the Health Minister, the government was constrained to resort to the Sheikh’s company due to the scarcity of covid-19 vaccines on the free market.

To demonstrate that they had the capacity, he said, they assured they were bringing 20,000 doses of Sputnik-V vaccines but ended up bringing in only 15,000 samples on the day they came for negotiation.

He said after the contract had been agreed, the company gave two weeks to supply the first 300,000 doses Ghana had ordered based on the government’s ability to provide them with letters of credit as part of the terms of the agreement.

He said when the letters of credit from Ghana were delayed and got to the company, the company came back to confirm that they had run out of stock and that Russia was going to supply more stock for them to supply Ghana within two weeks.

“After weeks, we enquired and they said they still had not got supply and we started engaging them that if that is the matter, they should permit us to amicably withdraw from the contract so that we can do something different to find vaccines for ourselves because our faith in them to supply was waning,” the Minister said.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu told the committee that following continuous pressure exerted on the company, which had assured to deliver the vaccines in July this year, they first gave “verbal notice” that they would not be able to supply the vaccines any longer and eventually terminated the agreement.

“So, as we sit here, I believe there is no contract between the two of us,” he said, adding that to the best of his knowledge, Ghana had not done any payment for the vaccines.

He said now that the company had terminated the contract, the government was now going to consider how to pay for the 20,000 that had already been supplied.

The Minister also indicated that the contract between the government and S. L. Global, a Ghanaian company, for the supply of vaccines, is likely to fall through.

“S. L. Global is also giving us the indication of the fact that they will not be able to supply so we are still engaging,” he said.

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