The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has published new documents relating to the now controversial new head office of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
The documents relate to correspondence between the Ministry of Finance and the central bank on among others, the issue of variation of project cost.
The most recent of the four letters published – two on the part of the Ministry and two from the BoG, is dated
17th January 2023, and is written by the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC) of the ministry.
Among others, the committee said issues it had raised in an earlier correspondence remained “unsatisfactorily addressed” by the BoG. It also advised the BoG to stick to all designs at present “to avoid huge variation costs in future procurement.”
The letter also affirmed that the revised scope of work had been pegged at US$222,760.55.
The lawmaker pointed out that the current figure was not inclusive of the cost of land for the project which he hinted was also saddled with issues.
“It is imperative to point out that the latest variation figure of US$222.79million is without the cost of the land. The cost of land and its dubious acquisition would be the focus of another episode.
“Contrary to claims by some NPP propagandists that the skyrocketing cost of the BoG head office project is due to general inflation and in particular, rising cost of building materials — the Central Tender Review Committee exposes those claims as false,” his post read in part.
Read Ablakwa’s full post below:
The wait is over.
Darkness must give way to light.
The conspiracy to conceal and resist accountability will always be defeated.
Embattled Bank of Ghana MisGovernor, Dr. Ernest Kwamina Yedu Addison and his colleagues have blatantly refused to disclose to the Ghanaian people the current cost of their controversial new head office project.
These BoG officials responsible for the biggest losses in the history of the hitherto profitable central bank have remained tight-lipped, evasive and obstructive; not even direct questions from journalists have elicited any helpful responses.
Their stonewalling and gross disregard for transparency and accountability has necessitated a Right to Information Request from my colleagues in Parliament — Hon. Kwame Governs Agbodza and Hon. Mahama Ayariga.
This morning, I can humbly report that I have bad news for “Addison The Printer” and his concealment collaborators — on the other hand, I have great news for all Ghanaian believers in open, transparent and accountable governance.
In this latest exposé, I have been inspired by the supreme national interest and the people’s right to know which has led me to conduct special oversight operations that have enabled me secure all the relevant documents the Bank of Ghana has been concealing and keeping away from sovereign Ghanaians.
Document 1 (The US$222.79million Variation Bombshell)
The first explosive document is a 17th January, 2023 letter from the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC) signed by its Secretary, Mr. David Quist which is duly attached.
This is a really damning letter which reveals the latest variation figure for the BoG head office project at a shocking US$222,799,760.55.
It takes exceptional recklessness and a fantastic appetite to cause financial loss for a project which commenced at US$81.8million to now be in excess of US$222.79million.
It is imperative to point out that the latest variation figure of US$222.79million is without the cost of the land. The cost of land and its dubious acquisition would be the focus of another episode.
Contrary to claims by some NPP propagandists that the skyrocketing cost of the BoG head office project is due to general inflation and in particular, rising cost of building materials — the Central Tender Review Committee exposes those claims as false.
The damning CTRC letter highlights how the Addison-led BoG brought us to this sordid point as a result of: “Inadequate Project Design, Conception and Preparation of the Original
Contract; An entirely new Scope in Design for the Revised Project; No detailed Project Milestones identified as benchmark for payment under the Project to protect BoG against any risk of financial exposure.”
The CTRC further exposes the impunity and lawlessness of MisGovernor Addison when they note that: “Revised Scope of Works has already commenced prior to seeking approval
from the CTRC.”
It is most instructive that the CTRC states in its letter that the BoG’s responses to their concerns remain “unsatisfactorily addressed.”
Document 2 (Strong Reservations from CTRC)
This is an intriguing 28th August, 2020 letter from the CTRC to the BoG which reveals how the tender process was rigged leading to the bizarre disqualification of Messrs Man Enterprise Ghana Limited.
This letter further exposes the recent defence by Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo, Head of Research at BoG who asserted that the Bank’s procurement processes in awarding this opaque head office contract was above board.
The letter also demands explanations from the BoG on the strange cost escalation from the initial US$81.8million to US$121million. Ironically, at the time, the CTRC did not imagine that more egregious sleazy variations were soon to occur.
Document 3 (BoG’s Belligerence)
This is an intercepted letter from MisGovernor Addison’s office dated 4th September, 2020 and signed by the BoG’s Ms Sandra Thompson.
It gives us a rare insight into how the BoG endorsed the strange cost escalations and did absolutely nothing to mitigate the spiraling cost. Indeed, the BoG was an accomplice and vehemently defended the price hikes at the disadvantage of the suffering Ghanaian people.
Document 4 (CTRC Reluctant Approval)
This 4th September, 2020 (curiously, the same day the BoG wrote to justify its actions) speaks to the apparent reluctant approval by the CTRC to allow the BoG to proceed with awarding the head office contract to Gold Key Properties Limited at US$121million which was some US$40million more than originally estimated, and which is now at an unconscionable US$222.79million (excluding land cost).
Interestingly, in this letter as well, the CTRC repeats its reservations about the rigged procurement outcome.
The image of a pathetically weak state institution continuously expressing serious reservations and yet lacking the courage and testicular fortitude to act while the BoG’s nation-wrecking impunity continues makes for particularly depressing observation.
From the documents under review, Addison The Printer has been notoriously negligent and reckless in saddling struggling Ghanaians under a failed economy he has been instrumental in mismanaging with the current colossal obligation of US$222.79million which excludes other commitments such as the cost of the land.
Clearly, MisGovernor Addison continued to vary his head office project which started at US$81.8million with impunity. He did so without first obtaining the necessary legal approvals as the Central Tender Review Committee has revealed.
Why would a Ghanaian Governor of an ailing economy which is seeking an IMF bailout be on such a reckless and lawless trajectory?
What does Addison need a new BoG head office which can host 6,500 people for?
Why is Addison building a new BoG head office which parks a staggering 3,200 cars?
Why exhibit this level of suicidal ostentation?
A careful reading of paragraph 4 of Document 1 offers strong caution that at this rate, there’s no guarantee that the current scary figure of US$222.79million would be the final variation.
President Akufo-Addo must urgently call his MisGovernor to order, suspend the alarmingly escalating project, and without delay institute an independent probe into this scandalous quarter of a billion head office affair.
It does appear that soon MisGovernor Addison will join the list of infamous central bank heads from Nigeria, Slovakia and Lebanon who are either being prosecuted or facing sanctions from the US, Canada and the UK.
Another compelling reason why we must all rise and participate in the Occupy BoG Protest.
Addison The Printer Must Go and he must be Prosecuted.
For God and Country.