The search for the appointees who have knowledge about the contract signed between the government of Ghana and Frontier Healthcare Services for tests for coronavirus at the Kotoka International Airport continues to be elusive with three minister-designates declaring their ignorance over the subject.
Members of the Appointment Committee of Parliament were shocked on Wednesday when Health Minister-nominee Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in an answer to a question said he had not, the slightest idea, about how the contract was signed.
His excuse, which was a common song he sang to justify the government’s decision to sidestep laid down procurement processes was ‘we are not in normal times’.
He said that despite being a member of the presidential task force on COVID-19, he is unaware of the contract.
“It will be very difficult for me to answer this particular question, why because there is a presidential task force that is supporting the ministry to do the Covid battle. This particular arrangement was put in place by the task force that reports to the President. They actually did the procurement,” he said.
The same issue came up when the former and now minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey appeared before the 26-member committee for vetting.
Like Agyeman-Manu, the minister who admitted not being involved in procurement arrangements for the COVID-19 tests at the airport also is not privy to the details of the contract.
“I was not consulted on the $150 charge for COVID-19 tests at Kotoka International Airport (KIA). I know at the ECOWAS, a decision was taken for all ECOWAS member-states to take $50 for the COVID-19 test and I think it’s okay.”
On Friday, Godfred Dame, the former Deputy Attorney General and now Attorney General-designate took his turn at the committee and he was quizzed on the matter.
He admitted to not being in the known about the deal because he was not consulted on it.
“Mr Chairman, I’m not in the position to tell whether indeed it was referred to the office of the Attorney General. Even this afternoon, I have indicated that the Agyapa agreement, we spoke about it extensively, I was not the one who worked on it because the Attorney General assigns work as and when necessary,” he explained.
Godred Dame who was also a board member of the Public Procurement Authority could also not confirm if the contract came to the PPA for approval.