UK Parliament worried over Central Medical Stores fire – Jon Benjamin

UK Parliament worried over Central Medical Stores fire – Jon Benjamin

Monday 12th June , 2017 10:30 am

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The outgoing UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin has said the UK Parliament is worried over the Central Medical Stores fire in Ghana which occurred some two years ago.

According to him, UK pumped about 4 million pounds worth of medicines into Ghana which were destroyed in the fire hence the UK Parliament’s seeming interest in the case.

“In the Central Medical stores, there were 4 million pounds worth of medicines bought by the UK through our DFID programme that were there and were destroyed and we had to account for that money and questions were asked in the UK Parliament. So we had to say what had happened and what was being done about it. So I think that was a legitimate reason for us to raise our concerns,” added Jon Benjamin.

About $80 million worth of medicines were burnt into ashes in 2015 when fire razed the Central Medical Stores at Tema in the Greater Accra Region resulting in the destruction of medical supplies and equipment.A committee established to investigate the case blamed it on arsonnaming one Samuel Dogbe, a labourer at the Medical Stores as being behind the fire.

In 2016, 12 officials of the Ghana Health Service who were also accused of playing various roles in the arson were also interdicted.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, the outspoken Jon Benjamin subtly called for the prosecution of persons indicted in the arson.

He noted that the interdiction of the officials was in the right direction but called for “sanctions for people found lawfully guilty of being the perpetrators.”

Donors threaten to cut funds to Ghana

Jon Benjamin’s remark comes on the back of comments by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu that some donor partners have threatened to cut funds to Ghana if government fails to bring the suspected arsonists in the Central Medical Stores case to book.

The Minister said the donors are “threatening to withdraw some of the donations they give to us until some issues have been resolved.”

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, had also questioned the lack of action or prosecution on the matter of the arson.

He insisted that the arson could not be swept under the carpet because the warehouse had about $7 million worth of items donated by American taxpayers.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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