The central bank was accused of breaking procurement laws when building its new headquarters, but Dr. Ernest Addison, the governor of the Bank of Ghana, has denied these claims.
Dr. Addison claims that the law was upheld in the awarding of the contracts, which will cost $250 million.
In response, Dr. Addison clarified the timetable and justification for the choice to start building the new headquarters.
He disclosed that it was the Bank’s profits at the time that led to the decision to move forward with the construction in 2019.
Dr. Addison acknowledged the MP’s concerns but insisted that all actions taken were legal and in accordance with proper protocol.
“The Bank of Ghana as far back as the 1990s began the search for suitable and secured land for a new Head office. In 2012, the Bank was allocated an unnumbered 5.19-acre land at Accra Central by the Lands Commission which also had issues. The Bank did not have access to the land since the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration refused to give the Bank vacant possession on the grounds that they had never agreed to give up ownership of the land. The Bank continued to search for suitable land for its Head Office throughout the period from 2013 to 2016. More recently in 2018, the Bank approached the SIC to acquire its vacant land at Ridge near the Ridge Hospital.
“The Government issued an Executive Instrument to allow the Bank of Ghana to acquire that Land and SIC was duly compensated. The Bank then began to plan the building of its new Head Office, taking into consideration the need to ensure the building meets all the requirements of a modern central bank of international standards (similar to central bank head office buildings in Abuja and Dakar), and includes provision for data centres, currency processes, vaults, and other sensitive installation. It is not just a simple ordinary building. Let me re-emphasize that the Bank followed all the necessary public procurement processes in this endeavour.
“No procurement laws were broken. I have requested that a more detailed response to the issues raised in the public discourse on the Bank’s new Head Office building be published on our website immediately after this press engagement today.
“The decision to commence construction was taken in 2019 when the Bank generated profits. Appropriations for the Head Office were made each year from profits in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The project has, therefore, been going on for over 3 years. The DDEP only took place in January 2023. If we were to be taking the decision today, building a legacy Head Office would not have been a priority.”
The cost of the office allegedly increased from “an initial US$81.8 million to US$121 million & currently threatening to exceed US$250 million,” according to Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Additionally, he claimed that a construction company chosen for the project through a single-source Public Procurement Authority (PPA) procedure isn’t even a registered company in the nation.