Frontiers healthcare signed contract with GACL same day they started operations
It has emerged that Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited, the company contracted to undertake COVID-19 testing at Ghana’s International Airport, signed its agreement with the Ghana Airport Company Limited on the day it started operations.
The Minister designate for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah disclosed this at his vetting on Tuesday, that the two entities signed the agreement on September 1, 2020, the day the country’s airport was opened to international flights.
According to him, the only briefing he has received about the operations of Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited had to do with the GACL providing office space for Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited.
“Mr. Chairman, per the document before me, the contract was signed on the 1st of September, 2020. I can’t remember when they (Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited) started operations,” Mr. Ofori Asiamah said while answering questions posed by the Ranking Member of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Minister designates decline knowledge of contract
At least, three Minister designates who held the positions in the last Government of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for which they have been re-nominated for same or changed ministerial appointments have declined knowledge of details of the contract deal during their vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice designate, Godfred Dame, said he was unaware of the contract for Frontier Healthcare Services to test for COVDID-19 at the Kotoka International Airport.
Answering questions during his vetting at Parliament’s appointments committee, Mr Dame said he had no idea of the company behind the testing at the airport since he was just the Deputy Attorney General.
“I was deputy AG at the time, I had no idea of the company behind the setting up of the company behind the testing,” Mr Dame said.
His comments come after Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu also disclosed that the procurement of Frontier Healthcare Services, as the sole company testing all passengers who arrive at KIA, was done by a presidential task force which reports directly to the President.
The Minister-designate said he could not explain how Frontier was selected because the presidential taskforce which put in place the arrangement does not report to him, but directly to the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“It will be very difficult for me to answer this particular question, why because there is a presidential task force that is supporting the ministry to do the Covid battle. This particular arrangement was put in place by the task force that reports to the President. They actually did the procurement,” he said.
Akufo-Addo on contract
President Akufo Addo, while announcing the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport to international flights in August 2020, said some stringent measures had been put in place at the airport to prevent the importation of new Coronavirus cases which may lead to a resurgence of the disease in the country.
The measures which he said had been communicated to airlines who want to resume flights to the country include a requirement for every passenger to possess proof of a negative PCR Coronavirus test from an accredited laboratory on arrival at the KIA.
“The test should have been done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. All airlines have been instructed to ensure compliance with this directive for all passengers wishing to travel to Ghana and those airlines who fail in this regard would be sanctioned”.
The measures also require all disembarking passengers to wear face masks and undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test upon disembarking flights at the Terminal.
The President disclosed that the cost of the test would be borne by the passenger and the test results would be available within thirty minutes. However, children aged five years and below are not required to undergo testing at the airport.