Delays in processing letters of credit (L/C) have been partially blamed for the failure of a controversial contract under which Ghana intended to purchase hundreds of thousands of doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine via a minor Dubai royal family member.

Ghana has now cancelled the US$65 million contract with Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook al-Maktoum which was controversial in several respects, not least because the vaccine was priced at US$19 per dose whereas the price direct from the manufacturer of Sputnik V is just US$10 per dose.

Out of stock

Ghana's health minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, told a bipartisan parliamentary committee that the government had provided the supplier with L/Cs for the purchase of 300,000 doses of the vaccine.

But the L/Cs were delayed according to the minister who says that by the time Sheikh Ahmed's office received the documents in good order, the supplier told him they had run out of stock of the vaccine

Contract cancelled

The supplier initially said it would deliver the vaccine once they received fresh supplies from the Russian manufacturer.

But by mid-July Ghana had only taken delivery of 20,000 doses, even though the contract entered into in March specified delivery of 3.4 million doses by end-June. This prompted the Ghanaian government to cancel the contract.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.