The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has strongly defended its decision to construct a new headquarters, stating that its current office is no longer suitable due to safety concerns.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) had criticized the bank for allegedly investing $250 million in the new building.
According to the NDC, the BoG’s decision to spend such a large sum on a new office demonstrates insensitivity towards the country’s troubled financial state.
“Perhaps the more troubling fact is that, having brought the Bank of Ghana to this terrible financial state, the Governor and his deputies, have found it prudent and expedient to invest $250 million (GHC2.8 billion) on another Head Office building somewhere at Ridge. In our circumstances, this is the height of insensitivity in the management of the finances of a troubled country,” Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson said.
However, the BoG responded by explaining that a structural integrity assessment had revealed that the current office did not meet the necessary safety requirements.
The assessment showed that the building lacked the strength to withstand major earthquakes, as well as unusually strong winds. Based on these findings, the BoG concluded that a new head office was a necessary investment to ensure the operational efficiency of the bank and to position Ghana as a financial hub in the sub-region. It is also seen as a step towards potentially hosting the headquarters of a future regional Central Bank, as Ghana already serves as the host for the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).
The BoG’s statement emphasized the importance of the new headquarters in supporting the bank’s functions and ensuring its ability to meet future challenges.
“A structural integrity assessment conducted by the BoG revealed that the current BoG Head Office building, built by the Nkrumah Government in the early 1960s, is no longer fit for purpose and could not stand any major earth tremors.”
“The outcome of the structural integrity work was that the main building does not satisfy the full complement of excess strength required for a building to be considered safe for usage. This means that in the case of a worst-case gravity and wind loading scenario, for example, unusually strong wind, the building may be significantly affected.”
“The building also does not have the required strength to withstand the expected imposed significant earthquake loads that would be expected to occur in the Accra area. Based on the above, and looking at the strategic objective of positioning Ghana as the financial hub of the sub-region, with prospects of a potential headquarters for a future regional Central Bank, The Board and Management of the Bank considered a new Head Office building as the most important priority project to support the operational efficiency of the Bank, and also position the Bank of Ghana in a very good position to be the host of the regional Central Bank as we currently host the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) of the Sub-region.”
Read the full statement from the Bank of Ghana attached
Story By Vincent Kubi