Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has disclosed the procurement of Frontier Healthcare Services, as the sole company testing all passengers who arrive at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), was done by a presidential taskforce which reports directly to the President.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament Wednesday, the nominee was asked by the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, to tell the committee how the company was selected.
The Minister designate said he could not explain how Frontier was selected because the presidential taskforce which put in place the arrangement does not report to him, but directly to the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“It will be very difficult for me to answer this particular question, why because there is a presidential taskforce that is support the ministry to do the Covid-19 battle. This particular arrangement was put in place by the taskforce that reports to the President. They actually did the procurement…, he said.
Minority leader and MP for Tamale, Iddrisu Haruna, interjected to clarify whether a presidential taskforce has powers under the laws of Ghana to do procurement.
“Is a presidential taskforce a procurement entity under Ghana’s laws? We need further details”, he quizzed.
The minister designate explained the exigencies of the pandemic required that emergency measures needed to be put in place, and that there was nothing wrong considering all the circumstances.
“Please, in the midst of the pandemic, this wasn’t an anomaly, we had groups that were doing various things and for the taskforce to partner with a private sector person to do what we did knowing very well that the ministry didn’t have the capacity to do and install the kind of equipment they put there, I think it was right and normal as an emergency to have done that”, he explained.
The minister-designate also admitted that, the company, at the time it commenced work was not licensed and that the $150 charged at the Airport for the Covid-19 test was not also approved by Parliament, but argued it was an emergency situation.
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