Mahama Ayariga, the Member of Parliament(MP) for Bawku, has officially complained to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to look into what he perceives to be a case of corruption in the acquisition of the Bank of Ghana’s new headquarters building at Ridge in Accra.
He states that the Bank of Ghana’s Governor and Deputy Governors, Dr. Ernest Addisson (the Governor), Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari (the First Deputy Governor), and Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi (the Second Deputy Governor), are among the suspects in this case.
In addition, he has requested that the OSP look into the activities of the Chief Executive Officer of Messrs. Goldkey Properties Ltd., the Board of Directors, and the project consultants overseeing the work.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana and his team have not been able to explain to Hon. Mahama Ayariga, in spite of a written request made to them under the Right to Information Act, why there was an increase in price from USD 121,807,8517.94 to USD 222,799,760.55 (about 84%) when the scope of work increased from 73,000 square meters to approximately 107,737 square meters (36.9%).
He recalled that the Governor and his Deputy Governors were called names by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MP) during a public demonstration demanding their accountability. The Governor then requested that the MN use institutional mechanisms to hold the Governor and his Deputy Governors accountable.
“I believe the Office of Special Prosecutor has jurisdiction to investigate all cases of suspected “corruption and corruption-related offences” by public officers and private persons working with public officials under section 2(a) and 79 of The Office of Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959). The Bank of Ghana had originally priced the project at USD 100,857,924.48 for 73,000sq.m but got the project awarded to Messrs. Goldkey Properties Limited, irithe same year, at a contract sum of USD 121,807,8517.94. A subsequent variation of the scope of works of about 36.9% increase saw a project cost escalation of 84% increase which has resulted in the about 107.737sq.m building project now costing USD222,799,760.55.”
He added: “I am ready to testify to all the facts I have come across in this matter and I believe your office will be able to obtain all the details of the variations of the project design and costing variations to arrive at a conclusion on this matter. When I wrote to the Governor for an explanation. he responded to me in a letter dated 22″d August 2023 and referenced SFGEN7202375. to the effect that he is unable to provide me with the full details of the project design variation which has led to the price escalation for reasons of “National Security”. This refusal to explain the price escalation founds my suspicion of corruption in the procurement.”
The member of parliament encouraged the OSP to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into this problem, provide the Ghanaian people with the required information, and pursue prosecutions where needed.
Following the lender of last resort’s announcement of a GH¢60.8 billion loss for 2022, the minority in parliament has criticized the governor of the central bank and his aides.
Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the minority leader, has questioned why Dr. Ernest Addison is spending $250 million to construct the central bank’s new headquarters at a time when the bank is having financial difficulties.
He said that the governor of the BoG printed money to pay for this project.
On Tuesday, October 3, the NDC MPs held a demonstration calling for his resignation; nevertheless, Dr. Ernest Addison is unwavering in his efforts to hold onto his position, deeming the demonstration needless.