The Minister Designate for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah will today take his turn at Parliament’s Appointment Committee as part of constitutional requirements in the formation of the President’s new government.
One of the things highly expected of the Minister’s vetting today is the details around the COVID-19 testing contract awarded to Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited at the Kotoka International Airport.
After going on a lockdown somewhere in March 2020, the government of Ghana announced the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
As part of measures to curb the importation of COVID-19 cases into the country following the reopening, the government procured the services of Frontiers to carry out rapid antigen testing at the airport at an initial cost of $150 per test.
However, the opposition National Democratic Congress, their Members of Parliament, and some Civil Society Organizations have heavily criticized the contract and have cited procurement breaches among some of the issues.
It is reported that the company operated for close to three months without a license and such issues have come up at the ongoing ministerial vetting.
So far, the nominees who have come before the committee and were ordinarily expected to know details about the contract have told the committee they lacked details on the contract.
The list includes former Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu who told the committee he was not in the position to provide details on the contract or tell how the services of frontiers were procured.
The former Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye in an interview with Citi News last week indicated that the Transport Minister-Designate, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah would be the person to give the committee details around the contract when he takes his turn to be vetted.
The Minister nominee is one of the few who have been renominated for the same portfolio in the President’s new government.
The Transport Ministry has been assigned jurisdiction over the aviation sector which oversees the operations of the Ghana Airport Company Limited.
According to Mr. Okoe -Boye, the Transport Minister-designate has received an adequate briefing and is in the position to share details being demanded by Parliament’s Appointment Committee when he appears before it for vetting.
The subject of the contract is expected to take center stage during the Minister’s vetting today especially from Minority MPs on the Committee who have so far been going tough on the nominees with their line of questioning.