Bernard Monarh, a prominent figure in the pressure group, AriseGhana, has criticized Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), for his defense of the new central bank headquarters.
According to the central bank, the existing headquarters are not earthquake-proof, which is why a new headquarters is being built.
However, the justification for the brand-new BOG headquarters, which will run taxpayers a staggering $250 million, has been dubbed “bizarre” by the minority in parliament. “The excuse that the current Bank of Ghana Head office is not earthquake resistant is most ridiculous, to say the least,” the Minority said.
Arise Ghana has stated its intention to picket alongside the Minority in Parliament on September 5 at the Bank of Ghana’s offices to demand the resignation of the Governor and his appointees in light of this.
Moreover, Bernard Monarh also disputed the Governor of BoG’s justification, contending that due to the area’s high earthquake risk, then all structures within the vicinity of the BoG head office should be evacuated.
“If you listen to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, he said the location of the central bank is earthquake-prone and so it should be removed…Parliament, our Superior Courts, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, are all located in an earthquake-prone area. The entire Accra is earthquake-prone. Ghana Commercial Bank is directly opposite the central bank.
“We have the biggest market in Accra called Makola, of which all these institutions are within the central bank enclave. If it’s about an earthquake area, then the suggestion is that let’s evacuate all other buildings. In fact, what it will mean is that we will take our capital from Accra. If you make these arguments, which are flimsy, of which you are spending that money, I think that it doesn’t sit well with anyone”.Bernard Monarh
AriseGhana’s top official criticized Dr. Addison for constructing a new office as Ghanaians are now going through challenges.
“We do what is necessary before we do what is desirable. At this critical moment, when the economy is in such turmoil and the IMF has asked the government to suspend major development programs in order to relieve the burden on the citizens of this country, the BoG is thinking of building an edifice that will make them sit comfortably. I think the governor has lost track of time.”Bernard Monarh
Also, he said they will continue to picket at the premises of BoG until the Governor and his deputies resign.
Ayariga Bemoans BoG’s Justification
The reasoning provided by the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, on its new headquarters project has been dubbed the “most ridiculous” by Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga.
Responding to the justification that the BoG’s current head office was no longer fit for purpose, Ayariga said: “This is the most ridiculous and palpably unacceptable laughable explanation I can hear from a governor for spending such an amount of money when your country is facing the kind of challenges that we are facing today.”
“These are private banks who have their money and who are even using their money and who are even using their building as part of their marketing strategy…You really have no business using an iconic building to bolster your structure because your structure is established by law.”Mahama Ayariga
According to Mr. Ayariga, the governor had no justification for claiming that the central bank has always operated successfully under the current administration.
“At no time during the tenure of Akufo-Addo’s government was Ghana doing so well that there was a justification to spend that colossal amount of money on the central bank’s head office building. It is after you have resolved the issue of hospital beds in the rural parts of your country, after you have extended electricity everywhere, after you have made sure that people have water to drink, after you have made sure that people have the basics things in life.
“So he has no basis for telling us that at any time during the tenure of President Akufo Addo that Ghana was doing so well that we could afford the luxury of spending such a colossal amount of money on a central bank, something that in my opinion is so unnecessary.”Mahama Ayariga