Richard Ahiagbah, the director of communications for the NPP, has provided comprehensive insights into the complex narrative surrounding the Bank of Ghana’s (BOG) endeavor to establish a new headquarters.
This revelation, in contrast to recent comments by minority leader in parliament, Casel Ato Forson, underscores the extensive timeline of the initiative, reaching back to a period predating Ghana’s fourth republic.
Contrary to Forson’s claims disassociating the NDC from involvement in the Central Bank’s efforts, Ahiagbah’s account stretches from 1990 to 2020, encompassing both NPP and NDC administrations, including their management of the Central Bank.
According to Ahiagbah, BOG’s pursuit of a suitable and secure location for a new headquarters initiated in the 1990s.
With the central business district encroaching upon the existing head office’s space and the imperative for expansion to accommodate growing operations, the bank embarked on efforts to acquire adjacent properties.
While endeavors to procure nearby properties faced limitations, Ahiagbah divulged that BOG succeeded in securing both the Queensway Bookshop and a parcel of land near Melcom, devoid of ownership conflicts.
In 2012, the Bank was granted a 5.19-acre plot in Accra Central, a contentious acquisition challenged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
Ahiagbah further highlighted various prospective sites presented in subsequent years, such as the Ridge Hospital vicinity by Messrs Callister Ghana Limited, the 6-acre parcel near Airport City by Messrs Dream Realty, and the 7-acre proposition by Messrs KAA Law. Each offer was eventually declined.
He underscored that the Bank persevered in search of an optimal location, eventually securing the West Ridge land through a government-initiated Executive Instrument, 2020 E.I 304, for the ongoing new headquarters project.
On the other side of the spectrum, minority leader Casel Ato Forson distanced himself from the construction process and criticized the decision to build a new headquarters amidst the Bank’s financial challenges, suggesting misplaced priorities.
Ahiagbah countered these assertions by highlighting Ghana’s economic landscape during the NDC’s tenure, particularly in 2015, when Ato Forson was a Board Member of the Bank.
He emphasized Ghana’s economic struggles at that time, as noted by the IMF, which attributed challenges to “out-of-control government spending.”