House defers approval of service agreement between govt, Fly Zipline

Mr Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader

Mr Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader

THE approval of the Service Agreement between the Government and Fly Zipline Ghana Limited for the delivery of emergency health and blood products to public health facilities hit a snag yesterday when the Minority raised objections to the terms and conditions of the deal.

 

The Minority had questioned the financial and regulatory terms of the agreement expressing their opposition to the deal in its current form.

 

Per the botched deal, Zipline stand to pocket US$88,000 per a distribution centre as service fee on monthly basis when fully deployed.

 

Designed to run for four years, the deal has four distribution centres with a guarantee of delivering emergency health supplies like blood in less than an hour.

 

In its current form, Zipline is supposed to obtain a Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and National Security approvals, comply with health and environmental rules and satisfy all legal requirements.

 

The Minority, led by Tamale South member, Haruna Iddrisu, disputing the cost of the deal said the monthly cost for a service centre was US$145,000 which would amount to over US$1.7 million per annum when Zipline invested only US$1 million in the project.

 

According to Haruna Iddrisu, the service agreement brought before the House, approved by Cabinet, should have been signed by the Finance Minister in line with the Public Financial Management Act.

 

In his view, there was no value for money in the soul sourced agreement and asked that prioritising the construction of more health facilities should be the focus of the government and not the supply of medical products which in themselves are unavailable.

 

“We are opposed to this agreement and we want to put on record that we will not support this agreement,” Haruna Iddrisu stated.

 

But the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said the deal was in the best interest of emergency health delivery in the country.

 

He explained that the deal was being borne by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, telecommunication giant MTN and Tullow Oil and not the state.

 

On value for money audit, Mr Agyeman-Manu said the audit was not ready and that the House through the Health Committee would be furnished in due course.

 

The National Security, Mr Agyeman-Manu said was involved in investigating the background of Zipline and was satisfied with the credibility of the company.

 

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, in his ruling said there were missing links in acquiring the regulatory requirement from National Communications Authority for the spectrum.

 

He has thus directed the Health Committee to reconsider the arguments raised by the Minority in relation with the regulatory provisions and report to the House in due course.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

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