Ghana News & Trends

Agyemang-Manu: Ghana’s Health Minister who allegedly misappropriated Covid funds receives the highest award in Ghana

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Ghana’s Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, has been conferred the Order of Volta-Companion despite his involvement in corruption and misappropriation of Covid funds.

Before receiving the prestigious award, the minister had been rocked by a series of corruption scandals over the years – the most recent one being the child immunization vaccine brouhaha.

Sputnik V scandal

In 2021, the parliament of Ghana exposed Agyemang-Manu for using corrupt fashion in procuring some 3.4 million doses of overpriced Sputnik V from Russia. He procured this from intermediaries from UAE, and he did this without parliamentary approval.

A parliamentary probe discovered that the minister breached Ghana’s procurement laws to procure the Russian Sputnik V vaccines.

Auditor General Report scandal

Then, a January 2023 Auditor General’s report revealed that the Ministry of Health paid an amount of US$120,192,379.80 to UNICEF/VAT for the supply of vaccines.

However, only 5,109,600 vaccines valued at US$38,322,000.00 were supplied to the National Cold Room, leaving a difference of US$81,870,379.00 with UNICEF/AVAT.

Agyemang-Manu and others honoured by State for Covid fight
Agyemang-Manu and others honoured by State for Covid fight

He responded to the findings by saying, ‘unexpected hesitancy, cold chain storage challenges, spontaneous donations and manufacturer’s storage difficulties’ caused the delay in supplying the rest of the vaccines.

That’s not all.

His ministry entered into a 25-year Finance Lease Agreement at a total lease value of GH¢15,265,000.00 in 2020, used as a holding and isolation center in Adaklu in the Volta Region. He spent another GH¢20,000,000 to refurbish the building, which was never used.

Child immunization vaccine

Under Agyemang-Manu’s watch, Ghana run out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines. This resulted from the minister’s incompetence and failure to secure procurement of these vaccines since the year began.

After weeks of outcry, he secured a few vaccines, thanks to Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.

Despite these findings and public uproar, President Akufo-Addo spared him and is still in post. Nana Akufo-Addo conferred on him the Order of Volta-Companion – the most prestigious award in Ghana to add salt to the wound.

Guess why he was awarded? He received the award for his “contributions to the fight against Covid.”

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Multiple award-winning entertainment journalist and founding editor at Ghanafuo.com – I have spent over a decade covering entertainment, gossips and lifestyle around the world. Follow me on my official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages: @davidmawuli