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Minority calls for probe into KIA COVID-19 testing contract

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Alhaji Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, a member of the Appointments Committee in Parliament says it has become evident that the contract granted Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct COVID-19 test at the Kotoka International Airport was in aim of making an unfair profit.

The Tamale North legislature says the development has pushed the Minority side of Parliament to move a motion for a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry into the issue when the House resumes in March.

According to him, the development follows the failure of some Ministers-designate to provide an explanation on how the contract was awarded.

Speaking on Citi TV/FM’s weekend current affairs programme, The Big Issue, on Saturday, February 20, 2021, Alhaji Suhuyini said, “We play politics with everything in this country, this vetting is actually revealing a lot of things. Reason the Minority side has decided to call for a bipartisan probe into the COVID-19 test at the Kotoka International Airport which many of the nominees who have been present so far at the committee been exposed.

“We think that, the lack of transparency that has surrounded the contract must be settled by having the bipartisan approach into the whole matter. That we are going to do – our earlier press conference also called for the immediate interdiction of the CEO of the Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited and also called for further probe to be done into the matter as well as find out others who are corporate of the issue and punish them”

Vetting Revelations

Appearing before the Appointments Committee earlier, the Health Minister-Designate, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, noted that the contract for the testing was given out under emergency procurement.

“We were not in normal times; we had to do things quickly and rectify them later,” Mr. Agyeman-Manu said of the situation.

“The licensing was even done on my insistence. When I went to do the checks and I found out that it hadn’t been done, and I told them to quickly let us go and rectify the anomaly before things get worse.”

Former Minister of State for Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo, also said she has no knowledge of the procurement processes adopted prior to contracting the firm.

She claimed she hasn’t seen the contract for the deal joining other previous minister-nominees who have not been able to give clarity on the controversial contract granted Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited.

This is despite the fact that she was the chief advisor to the President on procurement matters.

Madam Adwoa Safo instead suggested the Finance Minister under Akufo-Addo’s first term, Ken Ofori-Atta may have answers.

“I want to state on record that the Public Procurement Act of 2003 was not changed during my tenure as Minister of State for Public Procurement so the supervisory minister which is clearly stated in the law is the Minister for Finance.”

Meanwhile, the minister-nominees for Justice and Foreign Affairs, Godfred Dame and Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey have also said they had no knowledge of the procurement processes.

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