Member Of Parliament for Bawku Central Mahama Ayariga in a letter dated October,2,2023 has written to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana informing them of his decision to refer him and his deputies to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigation and possible prosecution.
This according to him is in relation to the matter of the award of a contract for the construction of a new head office building for the Bank of Ghana.
“I suspect that your team, in collusion with the contractors, overpriced the project with a possible view to obtaining personal gain. I reject your use of “national security considerations” as a reason to refuse to answer my questions properly. My decision to report you is in view of your refusal to provide a proper response to my request for information pursuant to the Right to Information Request. Your letter dated 22nd August 2023 referenced SF/GEN/7/2023/75 refers.” it captures
The Bawku legislator stated that BoG in its response gave a very brief and inadequate response, which is as follows:
“The project consists of three main blocks namely:
i. A Twenty (20) – Storey Tower Block üi. An Eight (8) – Storey Urban Block ili. A 6 – Storey Amenities Block
Other facilities include:
1. Podium – Upper Ground i.Podium – Lower Ground
ili. Basements – Three (3) level basement car parking areas iv. Ancillary facilities
v. Energy Farm vi. Treatment plants
vii. Security Gate Houses and it’s expected to be completed in September 2024.
However, Mr. Ayariga lamented that having regard to the stage of the project and reasonableness of the unit cost, the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC) granted concurrent approval for the revised scope of works at a contract amount of Two Hundred and Twenty – Two Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety – Nine Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty US Dollars and Fifty-Five Cents (USS222,799,760.55) relating to a unit cost of USS2,068.13/sqm.
Therefore, given the national security considerations associated with the building, the Bank is unable to provide further details on the scope of works.” (Emphasis mine).
In effect, BoG he categorically stated is refusing to provide any specifics in terms of information on the scope of works on grounds of “national security considerations”.
This un-corresponding change in the cost of the project, relative to the change in scope of works, is clearly unreasonable and can only be explained by suspected padding of project cost and corruption.
Also, BoG’s refusal to provide details to aid any understanding of the pricing reinforces his (MP) belief that massive corruption explains the shift in office project price from USD81,882640.00 to USD121,078,517.94 and then to USD222,799,760.55. Even more so when BoG itself initially proposed a price of USD100,857,924.48.
“My complaint will request that you – the Governor, the Deputy Governors, all other members of the Board of the BoG, and Messrs. Goldkey Properties Ltd (the contractors) – should be investigated for corruption and corruption-related offenses relating to overpricing of the Bank of Ghana new headquarters building with the object of obtaining a personal gain ultimately.” he disclosed
Mr. Ayariga assured that they will pursue BoG until it comes clean on how a project which it had originally priced at USD100,857,924.48 for 73,000sq.m got awarded to Messrs.
Goldkey Properties Limited, in the same year, at USD121,807,8517.94 and how a variation in scope of works of about 36.9% increase has led to a project cost escalation of 84% increase which has resulted in the 107,737sq.m now costing USD 222,799,760.55.
“This is a project priced in United States Dollars. This we do for the love of country and in pursuit of A Better Ghana,” he added