President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is claiming that Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has been vilified.
He says the Minister, has endured a lot of suffering at the Ministry.
Addressing the chiefs and people of the Bono Region, he asserted that the Minister is one of the illustrious sons from the Bono Region who has served well in his administration.
Pressure has mounted on the Minister to resign over the botched vaccine procurement deal.
The President has also been asked to sack him if he (Agyeman-Manu) was not prepared to resign.
Speaking in the Bono Region on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, during his two-day tour of the region, President Akufo-Addo said, “There are a lot of people from the Bono Region in my government; including the Minister of Health, who is currently receiving slaps [from Ghanaians]. He is an indigene from Dormaa. He has really suffered in that Health Ministry and is still suffering,” he said.
The ad-hoc committee of Parliament that probed the contract agreements for the purchase and supply of Sputnik-V vaccines asked the Minister for Finance to take steps to recover an amount of GH¢16.3 million paid to Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum.
The money covered the cost of Sputnik-V vaccines that the Ministry of Health paid to Sheik Al Maktoum, a member of the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai, who served as a middleman for the procurement.
“The Committee urges the Minister for Finance to take steps to recover the money due the Republic in respect of the amount of US$2,850,000.00 (Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00) being the cost of the Sputnik-V vaccines that were proposed to be procured,” the committee said.
The Minister subsequently wrote to the Sheikh demanding for refund.
The Sheikh wrote back pledging to refund the money.
In response to the Minister’s letter, the Sheikh said he will refund the money and asked the Ministry to confirm the difference for onward payment.