Politics

It’s not prudent to build new BoG headquarters while in crisis – Inusah Fuseini

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Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini says it is unwise for the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to commence the construction of a new building project while the institution is facing financial difficulties.

According to him, the BoG holds a fiduciary responsibility to the people of Ghana because the bank belongs to the entire Ghanaian populace.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Fuseini said that decision taken by BoG must be taken prudently and that the bank should be accountable.

“No one is saying that they conceived the idea of building a bank in 2017, no one has said that, but building the bank in 2021 at the height of our economic and social crisis, was it a prudent decision?

“That goes to show that the bank has been so mismanaged and the managers of the bank have not exercised prudence in their decision making and that has led us to the situation in which we are,” he said.

The former Roads and Highways Minister’s assertion follows the BoG’s recent statement that it is spending $250 million to build a new head office because its current office which was built in the 1960s has failed a structural integrity assessment.

It said, the edifice “is no longer fit for purpose and could not stand any major earth tremors.”

 

In a press release on Tuesday, August 9, the central bank explained that “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.”

On the back of this, Mr Fuseini said that it is not prudent for BoG to start the building of a new headquarters after recording a GH¢60.8 billion loss and negative equity of 55 per cent for 2022.

“The project is ongoing! If you know a project life, there’s a budget for it and the project has a gestation period. The project is still ongoing, the current crisis in which we are, the project is still ongoing. ….. it’s not that the money is sitting in the bank, if the money were sitting in the bank, they wouldn’t have a negative equity of the 55% for 2022,” he said.

The lawyer emphasised that “At the time the project was starting, no reasonable bank manager would have committed to invest when we were still suffering the ravages of Covid-19 on the economy and the projections said that our economy was going to slow down. No reasonable person would do that, when countries were taking steps to protect the economic fundamentals of their countries.”

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has called out the Governor of the central bank and his deputies after the lender of last resort reported a ¢60.8 billion loss for 2022.

The Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has questioned why Dr Ernest Addison is spending $250 million to build a new head office for the central bank at a time the Bank is in financial difficulties.

He accused the BoG Governor of printing money to finance this project.

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