The erstwhile Mahama government is reported to have procured about 30 ambulances estimated at 2.4 million Euros but the vehicles are lying in waste.
The vehicles procured are said not to be fit for the purpose for which they were purchased.
Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu made this shocking revelation during a familiarization tour of some health facilities in Accra.
He toured the Tema General Hospital, Tema Medical Stores, La General Hospital and the Air Force Base where the ambulances are kept.
Mr. Agyemang disclosed that during transactions, it was detected that though the ambulances meant for the National Ambulance Service (NAS) were supplied, the Ministry didn’t accept them because their specifications were not desirable for them to be used as ambulances.
Payments have however been made by the Mahama government through the Bank of Ghana to the supplier of the ambulances, although they were rejected for being below the required standards.
The 30 vehicles purchased at a cost of 80000 Euros each were part of the 200 ambulances that were meant to equip NAS in its emergency health response across the nation.
Providing further information on the deal on Joy FM’s “News file” on Saturday, the Minister of Information Mustapha Hamid indicated that the contract was single-sourced to one Richard Dzakpa, a former aide to former National Security Coordinator, General Nunoo Mensah.
He said the contract which was awarded to Richard Dzakpa’s company called Dzakpa@Business in 2010 by the previous government, did not go through any competitive bidding process.
He stated that “Richard Dzakpa of Dzakpa@Business was just asked to supply these ambulances to the Ministry of Health”.
The company consulted with a foreign dealer called the Big Sea which made the Dzakpa@Business their local agents.
However, after the arrival of the vehicles into the country, a technical examination of the vehicles in 2015 by global automobile manufacturers of Mercedes Benz – a model for the ambulances – revealed 18 threatening defects on each vehicle.
A technical report dated February 10, 2016 noted that the supposed ambulances are better off being used as 13-seater mini-buses because they were unsuitable for conversion into ambulances.
A German automobile company also disclosed the electronic gadgets fitted in the vehicles as being of “very poor quality” which could potentially endanger lives.
Commenting on the procurement of the ambulances on News file, seasoned journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako was alarmed over the deal.
Kweku Baako was absolutely “speechless” as he couldn’t advance his submissions on the deal.
All he could say was “this thing stinks”.
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana