The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has described the justification given by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison on its new headquarters project as the ‘most ridiculous.’
Responding to the justification that the BoG’s current head office was no longer fit for purpose in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM on Monday, Ayariga said: “This is the most ridiculous and palpably unacceptable laughable explanation I can hear from a governor for spending such an amount of money when your country is facing the kind of challenges that we are facing today.”
“These are private banks who have their money and who are even using their money and who are even using their building as part of their marketing strategy…You really have no business using an iconic building to bolster your structure. Because your structure is established by law.”
Mr Ayariga said the governor had no basis to say that the central bank was doing well at any point in time under the current government.
“At no time during the tenure of Akufo-Addo’s government was Ghana doing so well that there was a justification to spend that colossal amount of money on the central bank’s head office building. It is after you have resolved the issue of hospital beds in the rural parts of your country after you have extended electricity everywhere, after you have made sure that people have water to drink, after you have made sure that people have the basics things in life…”
“So he has no basis for telling us that at any time during the tenure of President Akufo Addo Ghana was doing so well that we could afford the luxury of spending such a colossal amount of money on a central bank, something that in my opinion is so unnecessary,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Pressure group AriseGhana has announced its intention to join the Minority to picket outside the premises of the Bank of Ghana to demand the resignation of the Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, and his deputies.
The group’s decision is rooted in the controversy surrounding the construction of the Central Bank’s new headquarters, which is reported to have cost around $250 million.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) justified the construction of a new headquarters, insisting that its current head office, built in the 1960s, is no longer fit for purpose.
AriseGhana in a statement indicated that their decision to join the picketing is borne out of the mess committed by the central bank.
But Mr Addison has also emphatically stated that the institution did not breach any procurement laws in its pursuit of building a new headquarters for the Central Bank.
The response from the BoG comes in the wake of concerns raised by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, regarding the escalating cost of the new headquarters situated in Ridge, Accra.
According to him, the cost of the office rose “from an initial US$81.8 million to US$121 million & currently threatening to exceed US$250 million”.
He also alleged that a construction firm, selected through a single-source Public Procurement Authority (PPA) process for the project, is not even a registered entity within the country.
In response, Dr. Addison provided clarification on the timeline and rationale behind the decision to initiate the construction of the new head office. He revealed that the decision to proceed with the construction was made in 2019, driven by the Bank’s profits at that time.
While acknowledging the concerns voiced by the MP, Dr. Addison asserted that all actions taken were within the bounds of the law and aligned with due procedures.
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