Monday, May 20, 2024

I’ve been guided by my mandate to protect public purse – Agyeman-Manu reacts to calls for resignation

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Amidst the lingering calls for his head over his role in the much talked about Sputnik V vaccine, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu continues to maintain his cool.

In his first reaction since the several calls for his sacking or resignation, the health minister disclosed that he has been observing the national interest surrounding his role in the deal.

He posited that his service as a public official has been characterised by the mindset of protecting the public purse.

“I have observed the high level of National interest that has greeted the narrative about my role in the purchase and acquisition of SPUTNIK V vaccine.

“In all of my public life as Deputy Minister, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and now as minister, I have been guided by the mandate to protect the public purse at all times and as minister of Health to also safeguard Ghanaian lives especially during this pandemic,” portions of Agyeman-Manu’s statement released on Saturday, August 14, reads.

He also confirmed that monies paid to middleman Sheikh Al-Maktoum, for which reason his position has come under fire had indeed been refunded by the latter.

The amount, totalling $2,470,000, he noted has been added back to the National Treasury, making it now available to the health ministry for the purpose of purchasing much-needed vaccines to meet the President’s target of 20 million vaccinations by the end of the year.

“I would like to assure the general public that the ministry of health is working assiduously to access vaccines to enable vaccinations to be administered to the public. That is the surest way to win the battle against COVID-19,” Agyeman-Manu added. ,

A report by Parliamentary Committee set up to investigate the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccines deal revealed that the minister had breached every procurement process and constitutional requirements about the contract.

The revelation resulted in a public outcry with many Ghanaians and stakeholders calling for the health minister to be booted out of office, especially since a former Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei was not spared the brunt of the same offence.

But shortly after the rampant calls, the health minister was permitted to take a two-week leave to attend to some personal issues.

Below is the full statement from the health minister: