Mintah Akandoh addressing the press
Mintah Akandoh addressing the press

Minority to hit street over locked-up medical commodities

The Minority in Parliament has expressed its readiness to hit the street if the government fails to clear all the locked-up containers of essential medical commodities at the Tema Port.


They said in spite of assurances by the Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, to have the containers cleared, a number of them still remained uncleared at the port.

“The Minority will not relent in our efforts to push-clear those locked-up commodities and drugs from the port,” they added.


At a press conference in Parliament on Thursday, the Ranking Member of the Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said: “As we speak now, not all the containers of drugs and commodities at the port have been cleared.

“We are a group of reasonable people, and so we have heard the plea by the Minister of Health that we should give him two weeks.

“That notwithstanding, we have heard him, but we are sending a clear warning that within his own two weeks, all the containers of drugs should be cleared from the port, and not some as they have been doing,” he added.

Mr Akandoh, who is also the MP for Juaboso, observed that in spite of persistant pressure on the government to clear all the containers, it was dragging its feet.

In his view, the “insensitivity and irresponsibility” of the government had become legendary.

“I think that when it comes to matters of health, the government must move with alacrity because it borders on the lives of the people,” he said.

The government released some funds to the Ministry of Health last week to facilitate the clearance of essential medical supplies that had stalled at the Tema port for over a year now.

“The Ministry of Health’s receipt of GH¢7,429,694.39 from the Ministry of Finance for the settlement of demurrage highlights a concerted effort to expedite the clearance of the medical commodities,” a release issued by the ministry said.

The allocation was in response to the prolonged delay in clearing of the life-saving supplies donated by the Global Fund for Community Foundation.

It was gifted to Ghana without a charge by the Global Fund but encountering a bureaucratic quagmire leading to its prolonged retention at the port

The government bears the responsibility of covering taxes, levies and port charges amounting to US$3.6 million, a prerequisite for authorising the release of the commodities.

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