The ongoing vetting of nominees to occupy various ministerial positions has, on the sidelines, fed Ghanaians and the world at large with some un-nutritious stuff which potentially poisons public perceptions about the circumstances under which the Frontier Health Service Limited was allowed to commence testing for COVID-19 at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) before acquiring a license.
It is curious that the nominee-minister for Health who was substantive Health Minister when the contract was awarded, the nominee-minister for Foreign Affairs who was also Minister for same portfolio when the contract was awarded, the nominee-minister for Justice and Attorney General, who was deputy Minister for same portfolio when the contract was awarded all told the Vetting Committee that they were not in full grasp of the fine details of the circumstances that enveloped the contract.
If none of these three were furnished with the full details of the contract, who else was?
All fingers are now pointed at the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) as the most plausible entity to have the sought-after answers and fine details of the contract. But as usual, in the characteristic ‘I-Don’t-Care’ attitude of most government agencies, leadership has decided to adopt the fire-brigade approach to public relations rather than adopting a pro-active approach. Someone has the answers. The absence of the answers is creating a perception of corruption for government. The persons who has the answers is keeping them for whatever reason.
The vetting is aired live on several television and radio stations nationwide. The issue of the Frontier Health Service Limited has raised eyebrows and made front page news and the discussions bother on whether or not the circumstances surrounding the procurement of their service was illegal and analysis that the charge of $150 per antigen test is a clear rip off.
The questions have been tabled before three or more nominee ministers who could not provide full answers, further fueling the unholy perception that something untoward had gone on.
Yet the heads of institutions which have the sought-after answers have their jaws resting in their palms, lips zipped and opened-eyes watching the tragic spectacle with a gleeful glee on their faces, completely unperturbed about the growing perceptions that something wrong and perhaps criminal had gone on.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been categorical that: “the deal and the circumstances under which that company was engaged is shady, opaque, illegal and that the terms of the transaction, the amount being charged for the antigen test is a rip-off…”, yet the persons who signed the contract and awarded it, and the entities profiting from it are not the least in a hurry whatsoever to clear the air if indeed there is nothing to hide.
Common sense should let those keeping the answers know that the absence of clarity and transparency fuels suspicion and speculation.