"BoG’s new head office is six times cost of Kempinski" – NDC
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has questioned the justification of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to build a new head office despite recording a huge loss in 2022.
The largest opposition party says the excuse given by the Central Bank for the decision is “most ridiculous to say the least”.
BoG had explained that its current head office is not fit for purpose after a structural integrity test was conducted.
“The outcome of the structural integrity work was that the main building does not satisfy the full complement of excess strength required for a building to be considered safe for usage,” the Central Bank explained in a statement on Wednesday, August 9.
“This means that in the case of a worst-case gravity and wind loading scenario, for example, unusually strong wind, the building may be significantly affected.
“The building also does not have the required strength to withstand the expected imposed significant earthquake loads that would be expected to occur in the Accra area. Based on the above, and looking at the strategic objective of positioning Ghana as the financial hub of the sub-region, with prospects of a potential Headquarters for a future regional Central Bank.”
But a statement issued by the Members of Parliament (MPs) of the NDC led by Dr Cassiel Ato Forson said even previous governors who consistently recorded profits did not find the need for a new head office and rather relocated aspects of the operations of the bank to the Cedi House and the Spintex Road facility.
“The question BOG must answer is that if at the time the Bank of Ghana recorded successive years of profit under NDC/Mahama government (2012-2016), the managers of the bank did not consider a new office complex an urgent priority but rather invested in the construction of the BOG hospital to support the healthcare needs of the country, how can BOG prioritize a new $250 million dollar office complex at a time it has recorded an unprecedented loss of GHS60.8 billion and a negative equity of GHS55.1 billion?"
“It is instructive to note that the cost of the ill-timed new head office complex the BOG is rapidly putting up is four times the cost of the ultramodern Ecobank Head Office building and six times the cost of Kempinski hotel in Accra.”
The Minority Leader also disclosed that the Caucus’ conservative estimates show that the cost of the new head office can build at least, 3,750 new six-unit classroom blocks to expand access to education or at least 3,500 CHPS compounds to improve the access to health care delivery in the country.
“It is also instructive to note, that the cost of the new Bank of Ghana head office complex is more than the capital expenditure allocation of the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Ministry of Transport put together.”
He described the move by the Central Bank to have this new head office as “profligacy”
“Clearly, the outrageously expensive new head office complex of BOG is a misplaced priority"
“There can be absolutely no justification whatsoever for this profligacy at a time the Bank of Ghana must be concerned about its immediate recapitalization.”