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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority in Parliament has accused the government of setting up a ‘crafted scheme’ at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) “to cash in on Ghanaian travelers.”
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the testing contract of passengers on arrival at the KIA which had been awarded to Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited was an “insensitive exploitation of Covid-19 by the Akufo-Addo government to the detriment of some Ghanaians against the public good and good public health management practices.”
Addressing journalists in Parliament yesterday, he requested the media to take a keen interest in “the testing of passengers on arrival at the KIA.”
“We, the minority, raised concern regarding the award of the contract to Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited. The company was registered on July 21, 2020 – just a few days to the commencement of its operations.
“The company, by our investigation, is owned by Healthcare Solution Services Limited, which is owned by the Peter’s Family Company Limited incorporated in June 2020.
“The Peter’s Family Company Limited is registered as an offshore in the Dominican Republic and therefore we don’t want to believe that this is another case of family and friends,” he claimed.
The Minority Leader, who is also the MP for Tamale South, quizzed, “How was this contract for charging of $150 per passenger awarded? What procurement process was used? The rule is that if you don’t have a laboratory you don’t qualify for the purpose of undertaking this service. How come they were chosen for the purpose of this?”
“We are asking for further and better particulars of the entity. We are not only concerned about the poorly crafted scheme that they are using to cash in on poor Ghanaian travelers who are desirous of returning home, but the inability of Frontiers Healthcare Services Limited to deliver the services for which the poor Ghanaian passenger is paying $150.
“To remind the government, the government is not set up for-profit and Nana Akufo-Addo should be aware that his primary responsibility is to contain a public health pandemic and not to profit out of it, even for purposes of a friend or family,” he indicated.
According to him, such action was not the essence of good governance and added that the NDC MPs were aware that the company solicited the support of the Coordinator of the National Laboratory Network for Covid-19 Testing to enable it to do its work.
The MP said the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research was said to be conducting the testing for and on behalf of Frontiers Healthcare Services.
“To save the government money, why didn’t it award the contract to Noguchi? If you wanted due diligence and proper work being done, you shouldn’t have awarded the contract to a company that has no laboratory.
“This insensitive exploitation of Covid-19 by the Nana Akufo-Addo government to the detriment of some Ghanaians is against the public good and good public health management practices,” he said.
According to him, the NDC minority played a role in the success story of the nation’s Covid-19 by supporting the state and the government as was appropriate to pass the necessary legislations and release of “justifiable finances and funding to contain and combat Covid-19.”
“We are happy with the outcome, but Ghana is not out of the woods yet and this is not the time to be celebrating. We need to solidify the measures we have put in place which have brought us this far,” he indicated.