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A Detailed Evaluation of Ghana’s Drone Purchase Agreement Between Fly Zipline Ghana Ltd and the Ministry of Health by Kobina Ata-Bedu. (MCIPS)

During the swearing in of H.E. President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo on January 7, 2017, he made an audacious call to all Ghanaians to be “Citizens, not Spectators”. This was a call to action for all Ghanaians to eschew passivity and be actively involved in nation building. We, Ghanaians, we goaded on by this call and have embraced that call with all our might. As a procurement professional, I have spent almost my entire career working for multinationals with policies that prohibited executives from making political statements or actively participating in politics or making political comments and contributions publicly.

So why now? Why do I wade into matters that are so politically-tainted? I am doing so because observing the assault on the procurement profession I have chosen and practiced for more than 20 years, I fear that if some of us do not rise up now, those following us will never understand and practice the very concepts, principles, ethics and ethos of our calling – To “Preserve the Purse” and to be the “Creators of Value”.
I have observed past NDC and NPP government manipulate the country’s procurement laws to serve their parochial interests. In my opinion, the ACT 663 and its amendment ACT 914 are carefully crafted to provide some form of credence and legitimacy to the interest of the people versed with power. It has become a convenient alibi for plundering the state’s resources with legitimacy. I don’t believe the current government should worry, if it believes it is not guilty of organised theft of state resources.

When the drone story broke, the facts as were presented were that Ghana had signed a $12.5m contract which will run for 48months or 4years. There would be 4 distribution centres each with capacity to make 150 deliveries a day or 600 delivering daily in total. The cost per delivery was presented as $17.00. There was no mention of what is driving the need for 600 hundred drone deliveries a day? How many lives have been lost as a result of this lack, resulting in this need? Anecdotal quotes of a father’s death are not enough to expend $12.5 million, or at today’s rate, 61.25million Ghana Cedi.

The first thing I did was to pick my calculator and divide $12.5m by 48 months. The answer is $260,416.67 a month. Then I divided this by 30days which make it $8,680.56 per day. Further divide this by 600 deliveries and the cost per delivery will be $14.47, NOT $17.00. This is when I felt something was not adding up. 600 deliveries daily @ $17? But this is not breaking down to $17 so is it an arithmetic error or there more to it? If on a straight line methodology, the unit cost is $14.47, where did the Director of the Ghana Health Service get the $17.00 from? As soon as the numbers were not added up at a cursory glance, I felt obliged to probe further. That is when my curiousity was aroused. Where is the empirical data tosupport this level of emergency need? This presupposes a colossal failure of the cold chain management system.


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