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Put on hold shady covid-19 testing contract at KIA – Minority to Gov’t

The minority in parliament is demanding immediate suspension of a contract with Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited for Covid-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport.

The government engaged the company to conduct rapid Covid-19 tests of passengers since the opening of the airport to International Passenger flights.

But the NDC MPs argue the fact that the company was incorporated just before the reopening of the airport raises eyebrows.

In an address to the media minority spokesperson on health, Kwabena Mintah Akandor alleged owner of the company, Benedict Peters is a close associate of President Akufo-Addo.

According to the Juaboso MP, the shady nature of the deal is the reason passengers are being charged $150 higher than what pertains to other countries.

He further stated passengers who are unable to afford the charges are detained risking their lives.

Mr. Akandor rather wants Noguchi to be put in charge of testing at the KIA.

“We in the minority have suggested to government to utilize the services of Noguchi who has spearheaded the testing of Covid-19 cases in our country since this pandemic took its course instead of contracting a private institution whose charges are higher but it seems government is more interested in creating avenue for its family and friends to take advantage of the situation and exploit Ghanaians rather than considering the plight of the people.

“Ladies and gentlemen, our checks revealed that not every returnee has that kind of amount to pay for the antigen test and if indeed the Covid-19 antigen detection has been described as a ‘novel’ and the first of its kind worldwide, then why do travellers need to pay that much for it?

“Friends of the media, help us find out from the government if they have in anyway found the services of Noguchie to be suddenly below standard which cannot match the kind of tests being conducted at the KIA? If not, why then contract a private institution (Frontier Healthcare Services Ltd) who is said by IMANI Ghana, in their Press Conference on 21st September, 2020 to have defied basic biomedical ethics and national laws, to make profits at the expense of a government institution (Noguchie Memorial Institute) who has been at the forefront since the outbreak of this pandemic?.

“Ladies and gentlemen, how much out of the 150 USD charged each traveller goes to the state? The arrangements with Frontier Healthcare Services Ltd is a rip off. Moreover, nobody knows how the contract was awarded to this company, which was formed a few days to the lifting of travel restrictions and which has no certified laboratory in Ghana for the purpose of testing arriving passengers.

“In addition to these infractions, passengers who are unable to pay are detained or quarantined. This poses a serious risk to other users of the facility. This is a classic case of create, loot and share by President Akuffo Addo and his family and friends. Such a conduct is condemnable and we urge all well-meaning Ghanaians to condemn such an insensitive and inhumane behaviour of the government.

“Ladies and gentlemen, our checks show that Frontier Healthcare Services Ltd is owned 100% by another company in Ghana called Healthcare Solution Services Limited. Our sources indicate that Healthcare Solution Services Limited was incorporated on 3rd June, 2020. The company also received its certificate to commence business on the same day.

“Further investigations have shown that Healthcare Solution Services Limited is owned 100% by another company called ‘The Peters Family Company Ltd’. This company is registered in Dominican Republic, a notorious offshore/tax haven and investigations point to the fact that the company belongs to a Nigerian billionaire businessman called Benedict Peters. This opaque status of Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited clearly strengthens our position that the award of the contract to Frontier Healthcare Solution Services Limited is a grand scheme by the Akuffo Addo government and his family and friends to enrich themselves at the expense of people who are struggling to make ends means in this difficult time of Covid-19.

“Frontiers Healthcare Services Ltd has recently put up a website. Our sources have revealed that Frontiers’ website, which has copyright violations is managed by First Atlantic Bank. Now, the official bank handling all payments for the Covid-19 testing at KIA is First Atlantic Bank, a local bank with Nigerian majority shareholding.

“Ladies and gentlemen, do you know that the Frontiers’ website accepts online payments from two destinations, Ghana and Zimbabwe which may suggest that either Frontiers operates in Zimbabwe or that it intends to operate there. Our sources have also disclosed that Benedict Peters has been awarded a $60 million Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe, where Ghana’s Vice President worked as a World Bank consultant. This revelation that Peters is involved in mining may be behind the $500 million ASAASE/AGYAPA deal.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Benedict Peters whose company, The Peters Family Company Ltd which has links with Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited is a very close friend of President Nana Ado Dankwa Akuffo Addo. Benedict Peters is a known controversial figure with several allegations of corruption, criminal conspiracy, bribery, diversion of funds and money laundering. In fact, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has declared him wanted in respect of crimes they claim he committed together with the infamous Nigeria Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Alison – Maudeke. Information available shows that Benedict Peters has been in self-imposed exile in Ghana since 2018.

“So clearly, instead of the government led by President Akuffo Addo seeking the welfare of passengers at KIA by ensuring that the tests at KIA are affordable to all persons, they have rather used this as a business venture forum by draining passengers of their limited resources. People have gone through difficult experiences due to Covid-19 and have even lost their sources of livelihood, what they need is our compassion, comfort and help but not to be subjected to financial extortion all in the name of Covid-19 testing.

“The minority demands an immediate suspension of the agreement and a full scale investigation into this unconscionable corrupt and cruel self-enriching scheme so that all those behind this stinking plot can be brought to justice. We therefore serve notice that if nothing is done, the next NDC government from January 7, 2021 will not only abrogate the contract but we shall go after all those who have conspired to perpetrate this grand scheme of wicked extortion on the good people of Ghana.”

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