Health Minister gives vague answer to ventilator, money recovery question

Health Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Naseem (Kerafa Naseem) | Photo: Hotelier Maldives

Malé, Maldives – Health Minister Ahmed Naseem was unable to provide an answer to questions regarding money or ventilator recovery from Dubai company.

The questions were asked by MP of Bilehdhoo constituency Ahmed Haleem with the Health Minister Naseem replying that all information regarding the ventilator recovery will be provided to the Parliament of Maldives.

MP Haleem asked whether the money or the ventilators will be recovered.

We will provide all information on the ventilators to the Parliament. I have no intention of hiding anything. There are talks which can be inferred as such.

Health Minister Ahmed Naseem

Health Minister of Maldives, Ahmed Naseem had told on March 6, 2021 that the Ministry was still not sure of an exact date for when the ventilators will arrive and that from the actions of the Dubai company, it does not seem like they would be sending the remaining 60 ventilators to Maldives.

Finance Ministry had told that Ministry of Health was given the instructions on October 2020 to recover the ventilator money through arbitration according to Mihaaru news.

The previous Health Minister, Abdullah Ameen resigned from office was lead to by a series of events, stating from an audit conducted by the Auditor General’s Office, which suggested foul play in all three contracts awarded by the Minister of Health, to procure 142 ventilators for the state. 

This included of the agreement made between Executors General Trading LLC for 75 ventilators, MedTech Maldives Pvt Ltd for 50 ventilators and with Naadu Pvt Ltd to acquire 24 ventilators, out of which the agreement with Executors General which became the most controversial of all.

While Minister Ameen later resigned due to the scandal, Deputy Minister Nishaama Mohamed, and senior officials of the Ministry were implicated in the scandal. After the audit report, the ACC conducted an investigation into the scandal and requested charges against the 11 implicated. However, the PG had rejected the case from being sent to court twice stating that charges could not be brought forward in the case due to insufficient evidence.