Contract with Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum to supply Sputnik V vaccines terminated – Health Minister

Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Health Minister and Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum Kwaku Agyemang Manu, Health Minister and Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum

The Health Minister says government's contract with middle-man Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum to supply the country with Sputnik V vaccines has been terminated.

Addressing the Parliamentary Committee investigating the contracts, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, said the businessman wrote to his outfit on Wednesday to terminate the contract.

He revealed that Sheikh Maktoum's reason for the decision was because he "is struggling to raise vaccines."

The government signed a purchase contract for 3.4 million doses of the vaccine after it received an initial 15,000 doses from Sheikh Al Maktoum on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

According to the Minister, Sheikh Al Maktoum had brought the initial consignment to demonstrate the availability of the commodity; however, the suppliers decided to withdraw from the contract after several attempts to get the vaccine from the manufacturers yielded no result.

Before the official contract termination, he stated that government had mounted enormous pressure on the suppliers to meet the deadline and subsequently suggested an amicable withdrawal from the agreement.

Narrating the chronology of events, Mr Agyemang said, "They were not just terminating yesterday. After we had signed the contract, they gave us two weeks to supply the first 300,000 we've ordered based on our [government] ability to give them letters of credit. But, unfortunately, our letters of credit were delayed getting to them.

"Then they came back after they had confirmed that they had run out of stock, so they were going to restock and supply ours in two weeks. After two weeks, we enquired, and they said that they had still not gotten to the manufacturers.

"We have since been pressurising them to get us the vaccine but to no avail. And then they gave us verbal notice that they will not be able to supply any longer a yesterday sent in a formal letter. So as we sit here, I believe there is no contract between the two parties."

Despite the total supply of 20,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccines to the country, the Health Minister said no money has been paid to the suppliers.

But he added that government will take necessary measures to settle the earlier 20,000 doses that the country has received from the company.

He further added that the second contract with another intermediary firm S. L. Global is also under review.

"We still haven't issued and credit letter to S. L. Global. Although the contract exists, because of the scarcity (of Sputnik V), the company is also given indications that they will not be able to supply. So we are still engaging them," he said.

Source: Myjoyonline.com