Ablakwa joined the debate after the management of the Central Bank justified why they invested $250 million in the construction of a new building to serve as its new headquarters in Accra.
In a statement on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, the central bank explained that a structural integrity assessment it conducted revealed that its current Head Office building is no longer “fit for purpose” and could not stand any major earth tremors.
According to the Bank of Ghana, unlike its current BoG Head Office building, built by the Nkrumah Government in the early 1960s, the new Head Office can stand major earth tremors.
The North Tongu MP adding his voice to the construction of the new head office said it is obvious from the Bank of Ghana’s feeble and anaemic defence that they have opted not to be transparent, candid, and accountable to the good people of Ghana.
In a Facebook post, the MP stated that considering the deliberate distortion, lack of transparency, sponsored obfuscation, and naked dishonesty, he decided to activate his constitutionally mandated parliamentary oversight role to unravel the mystery in a collective national interest.
He said he has intercepted unimpeachable, incontrovertible, irrefutable, and undeniable documents from the Bank of Ghana to back the real cost of the new head office.
1. The Bank of Ghana commenced procurement processes for the controversial palatial head office on 14th January 2020 when they wrote to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) seeking approval to strangely use the Restricted Tendering Procurement Method;
2. The PPA by letter dated 28th January 2020 signed by its Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Frank Mantey communicated approval of the Board for the BoG to proceed with its desire to use the Restricted Tendering Method;
3. From the intercepted documents, procurement for the project did not commence under the NDC or during the tenure of Hon. Ato Forson as a Board Member, nor did it start during the presidency of H.E. John Mahama, contrary to the vicious fabrications by some desperate NPP apologists;
4. The BoG’s unacceptable use of the Restricted Tendering Method amounts to a blatant violation of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended in Act 914. Section 38 of Act 663 provides a limited scope for the use of Restricted Tendering in circumstances where goods, services, or works are available only from a limited number of suppliers or contractors;
5. From the intercepted documents, the BoG handpicked the following companies: i) Messrs. WBHO Ghana Limited, ii) Messrs. Man Enterprise, iii) Messrs. DeSimone Limited, iv) Messrs. Ronesans Holdings and v) Messrs. Goldkey Properties;
6. It is not clear what criteria the BoG used in selecting its preferred 5 companies when Ghana’s built environment can boast of many established and celebrated construction firms such as Consar, Berock, Maripoma, Mawums, M. Barbisotti, First Sky, Antarctic, Ussuya, Regimanuel, and so on and so forth;
7. None of the BoG’s shortlisted companies can lay claim to any patent or exclusive capacity which other construction firms in that category do not possess and therefore warranting or justifying the use of restricted tendering;
8. It is obvious that Ghana would have had better value for money if the BoG had been less shady and opened up the process — opting for a full competitive tendering process;
9. In a bizarre twist, further investigations reveal that one of the BoG’s 5 “ordained” companies: Messrs. Ronesans Holdings is not registered at the Office of the Registrar of Companies. How did an unregistered company qualify to participate in a restricted tender?;
10. I intercepted another letter dated 4th September 2020 also signed by PPA Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Frank Mantey which shockingly reveals that just within 8 months, the cost of the BoG Head Office project astronomically increased from US$81,882,640.00 to US$121,078,517.94.
11. Experts say this staggering US$40million increase in the project cost between January and September 2020 in a dollar-denominated contract is absolutely mind-boggling;
12. A 40% hike merely after tender evaluation in dollar pricing, not cedis, raises many critical questions for the BoG;
13. A credible fully competitive tender process would have avoided this arbitrary cost escalation and guaranteed value for money;
14. Ironically, all these procurement breaches and sleazy price escalation at taxpayer expense was happening during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when President Akufo-Addo and Governor Addison had given Ghanaians assurances that they had put everything else on hold and were focusing on saving lives. Addison even claimed in June 2020 that the Central Bank was struggling in financing government because of Covid only to initiate this mega project on the blindside of Ghanaians;
15. Deeper investigations into the shady BoG head office project led me to discover another reckless and lawless conduct by the Addison-led Central Bank when they procured the services of a company known as MULTICAD to carry out project management through single-sourcing. (See PPA letter of 22nd September 2021 as attached);
16. Section 40 of Act 663 provides the conditions for single-sourcing which do not apply in this instance;
17. There is no compelling genuine reason which justifies MULTICAD’s sweetheart deal of US$3.45million from Governor Addison;
18. What was Governor Addison’s special interest in ensuring that MULTICAD was single-sourced when there are hundreds of competitors out there who should have been allowed to compete for us to have value for money;
19. Curiously, this is a regime that made considerable noise in opposition against what they described as the dangers of single-sourced projects;
20. Strangely, MULTICAD’s articles of incorporation secured from the Office of the Registrar of Companies suggest that the company was registered on December 10, 2021, even though it received PPA approval on September 22, 2021. (See copy attached);
21. These numerous blatant procurement breaches, rigged procurement machinations, magical price escalations, and lack of due diligence raise legitimate questions about the stewardship of PPA Board Chair, Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi and his colleagues at the PPA;
22. Patriotic Bank of Ghana insiders working with me on this latest oversight project have expressed grave concern about how this BoG office complex which started at US 81.8million, surprisingly shot up to US 121million, and now variation reports are being prepared which are likely to exceed an incredible US$250million. This scary development invokes memories of the scandalous Akufo-Addo Cathedral which started at a US$100million and has now exceeded US 400million;
23. It is most astonishing for MisGovernor Addison who has presided over the BoG’s biggest losses in living memory of GHS60.8billion to initiate a US$81.8million head office project only to now saddle Ghanaians with a bill that is about three times more. The height of recklessness and gross mismanagement!;
24. Probably, MisGovernor Addison couldn’t be bothered about the frightening cost escalations for his new empire office project because he thought he could mindlessly continue with his illegal printing of cash;
25. This exposé clearly shows how MisGovernor Addison and his colleagues in management at the BoG have been deliberately lawless and remarkably destructive. Ironically, they punished others and collapsed their banks for far less.
26. All well-meaning Ghanaians must join the #OccupyBoGProtest. MisGovernor Addison and his fellow nation wreckers must go! Let us rescue our only country.