Mahama Ayariga Expresses Concerns Over Escalating Costs of Bank of Ghana’s New Head Office Project
Mahama Ayariga, the Member of Parliament representing Bawku Central, has voiced his apprehensions regarding the remarkable escalation in the cost of the Bank of Ghana’s new head office construction project.
The initial budget of $81 million has significantly surged to the current estimate of $250 million, a staggering increase that has raised eyebrows and prompted scrutiny.
Ayariga expressed his concerns, highlighting the need for transparency and accountability in the matter. He disclosed that the Minority in Parliament has initiated a formal inquiry by writing to the Bank’s Governor and the Board to elucidate the underlying factors contributing to the substantial cost augmentation.
In a recent appearance on TV3’s “Ghana Tonight” program, Ayariga conveyed,
“Our correspondence to the bank seeks specific information pertaining to the procurement process, the financial breakdown, funding sources, budgetary allocation, payment progress, lease arrangements for the land, involvement of project managers and consultants, and other pertinent details.”
Addressing the disparity between the exorbitant construction cost and the current economic challenges facing the Bank of Ghana, Ayariga further emphasized,
“We are puzzled by the staggering expenses associated with this construction endeavor. Particularly when the bank is grappling with severe losses, negative equity, and an inability to fortify its position to address potential financial crises.”
The Bank of Ghana has offered a justification for the elevated expenses, asserting that the existing building, constructed during the Nkrumah government in 1960, has failed to meet contemporary structural integrity standards. This rationale has been cited to vindicate the decision to allocate $250 million for the construction of a new edifice.
In response, Ayariga cast doubts on the procurement process, indicating,
“Our concerns extend to the competitive nature of the procurement process itself. The available documentation does not convincingly support the absence of competitive bidding.”
Ayariga elaborated that a timeline has been established, giving the Board of the central bank a window of 7 days to provide comprehensive answers to their inquiries.
He concluded by emphasizing the paramount importance of transparency, asserting that the forthcoming responses from the central bank’s Board would either affirm their commitment to openness or potentially raise questions about undisclosed elements. This inquiry reflects the broader mandate of accountability and oversight that parliamentary representatives are entrusted with, especially when public resources are involved.