The Central Bank of Ghana has denied publications that the authorities have signed a contract with a Swiss company to supply it with gold watches to be given as ex gratia to some workers who are due for retirement.
According to the Head of Public Relations for the Bank of Ghana, Bernard Otabil, the Bank would like to state emphatically that there is no deal or monies paid to any company anywhere to produce gold watches but rather a request that was made to the Public Procurement Authority for assessment which had been misconstrued.
This response follows reports and comments in some section of the Media which said authorities of the apex bank had made an order to a Swiss company to supply it with gold watches amounting to the sum of $504000. A figure which has received wide condemnation.
But Benard Otabil insisted that the information being churned out have been misconstrued.
"There is a misconception that l would like to clarify. Suddenly the argument in the media is sliding towards Bank of Ghana paying money and awarding a contract for supply. Simple explanation of the whole issue is that, before approval from PPA a contract cannot be awarded. Whether competitive tendering, selective or sole sourcing, entities are made aware that the selection process does not constitute any formal contract. This is exactly the process that was adopted by the Bank" he noted.
Clarifying further, the spokesman of the Central Bank maintained that BoG has also not made any payment to anyone.
" In fact, Management is yet to look at the request for the purchase of the watches and that no commitments have been made". Saying the call for probes is out of place.
Benard Otabil observed that management of the bank will do its job and ensure that laid down procedures are followed and added that it was purely procedural where the welfare committee will make the request based on the budget commitment to that expenditure item to the procurement department.
He however said the necessary procedures, including a meeting of the entity committee would be undertaken and management appropriately briefed on progress and the necessary approvals.
"So the dissatisfaction with the process or sole sourcing should not now be coined into contract and payment of cash, the bank and its management will continue to serve the interest of Ghanaians as mandated, he concluded.