Home » BoG Governor’s Lavish Guest House Sparks Outrage

BoG Governor’s Lavish Guest House Sparks Outrage

Ghanaian MP accuses central bank chief of wasting public funds amid pandemic

by Victor Adetimilehin

The governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, has come under fire for spending a whopping GHS 139.9 million ($23.8 million) on a 50-bed guest house in Tamale, the capital of the northern region.

The project, which was awarded to De Simone Limited through a single-source procurement method, was revealed by a letter dated March 9, 2023, and signed by the BoG secretary, Sandra Thompson.

The letter stated that the guest house was part of the BoG’s strategic plan to provide accommodation for its staff and guests in the northern sector and that the contract sum included the cost of furniture, fittings, and landscaping.

However, the project has sparked outrage among some Ghanaian citizens and politicians, who have questioned the rationale and timing of such a lavish expenditure amid the economic challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Hooliganistic Appetite for Single-Source Procurement

One of the most vocal critics of the BoG governor’s guest house project is Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a member of parliament for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, January 16, 2023, Ablakwa accused Dr. Addison of having a “hooliganistic appetite for single-source and restricted tendering” and of violating the public procurement law.

Ablakwa also alleged that none of the procurements under Dr. Addison’s watch have been competitive and that he has been using the pandemic as an excuse to bypass due process and transparency.

He cited several examples of what he called “outrageous” and “unconscionable” contracts awarded by the BoG under Dr. Addison’s tenure, such as:

– A GHS 15.5 million ($2.6 million) contract for the supply of 100 KVA generators to the BoG’s district offices

– A GHS 32.3 million ($5.5 million) contract for the renovation of the BoG’s head office building

– A GHS7.1 million ($1.2 million) contract for the supply of 25 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for the BoG’s board members

– A GHS4.6 million ($784,000) contract for the supply of furniture for the BoG’s boardroom

Ablakwa also claimed that the BoG has failed to provide any justification or value for money analysis for these contracts and that the Auditor-General has not audited the BoG’s accounts since 2017.

He called on the BoG governor to explain to the Ghanaian public how he could justify spending such huge amounts of money on “luxuries and extravagance” while the country is facing a fiscal crisis and debt distress.

A Matter of Prudence and Accountability

The BoG governor’s guest house project has also drawn the attention of some civil society groups and media outlets, who have demanded more accountability and prudence from the central bank.

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), a network of anti-graft organizations, has urged the BoG to suspend the project and conduct a value-for-money audit to ascertain its necessity and cost-effectiveness.

The GACC also called on the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to investigate the BoG’s procurement processes and ensure compliance with the law and best practices.

The Ghanaian Times, a state-owned newspaper, has also questioned the wisdom and priority of the BoG’s guest house project, especially at a time when the country is grappling with the effects of the pandemic on the health and livelihoods of its people.

The paper argued that the BoG should focus more on its core mandate of ensuring price stability and financial stability, and not on “building castles in the air”.

The paper also urged the BoG to be more transparent and accountable to the public and to use its resources judiciously and efficiently.

A Need for Balance and Perspective

However, not everyone is opposed to the BoG governor’s guest house project. Some analysts and commentators have defended the project as a strategic and long-term investment that will benefit the BoG and the northern region.

They have also argued that the project is not a waste of money, but a reflection of the BoG’s financial strength and independence and that the cost of the project is reasonable and comparable to similar projects in other countries.

Moreover, they have also appealed to the BoG to provide more information and clarification on the project and to engage with the stakeholders and the media to address their concerns and queries.

The BoG governor’s guest house project has generated a lot of debate and controversy in Ghana, exposing the divergent views and interests of different groups and individuals.

While some see the project as a symbol of extravagance and corruption, others see it as a sign of progress and development.

The project has also highlighted the need for more transparency and accountability from the BoG, as well as more dialogue and understanding among the public.

As Ghana strives to recover from the pandemic and achieve its vision of becoming a prosperous and inclusive nation, it is hoped that the BoG and its stakeholders will find common ground and a constructive way to resolve their differences and work together for the common good.

Source: Modern Ghana 

You may also like

Leave a Comment

white logo with motto small

The Ghana Sentinel is an embodiment of Ghana’s spirit, providing unerring insight into our politics, society, and business.

Editors' Picks

Latest Stories

© 2024 The Ghana Sentinel. All Rights Reserved.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com