General News of Thu, 6 Oct 201621
BoG’s US$504,000 for gold watches wasteful – Banker
The former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Amalgamated Bank Limited, (now Bank of Africa) Mr. Menson Torkornoo has slammed the Bank of Ghana for its decision to purchase 72 gold watches for some retiring staff.
BoG on Wednesday confirmed a Starrfmonline.com exposé that it was spending a whopping €450,000 - an equivalent of GH¢2 million - on gold watches for retiring staff.
According to BoG documents in possession of Starrfmonline.com, 72 staff who have served for 30 years and beyond are benefiting from the entitlement.
The watches which are being bought from Messrs A Swiss Watch Company, comprises 25 18 karat Ladies gold watches and 18 carat Gents ones.
The Central Bank has, however justified its decision stating that it will not devalue the dedication and commitment of loyal employees who have toiled for the company.
But Mr. Torkonoo, who is also an entrepreneur in an interview on Morning Starr Thursday said that the decision by the Bank of Ghana is uncalled for and must be withdrawn.
“I don’t know what is wrong with us…there is no private company that would want to do something like this...it is very wasteful if that is their policy,” Mr. Torkonoo told host Robert Nii Arday Clegg on Starr 103.5FM.
He also described the justification by the Central Bank as a “lame duck excuse” adding that there must be a debate “on this sort of thing.”
News of the gold watch expenditure emerged after Starrfmonline.com sighted some documents which indicated that on July 22, 2016, the BoG sent a request to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to sole source the procurement of gold watches from a Swiss watch company.
The request letter indicated that the BoG intended to use part of its 2016 budgetary allocation to fund the procurement of 24 units of 18 carat ladies gold watches and 48 units of 18 carat gents gold watches; all Tissot Gold Watches from a dealer in Switzerland.
The BoG responded to the claims explaining that expenditure formed part of its policy to reward deserving staff who have served a minimum of 30 years and are due for statutory retirement from the Bank.
The bank also explained that the procurement of the watches began in 2012 when the Bank decided to procure the gold watches once every two years (i.e. 2012/13 etc.) in order to control cost and make savings on foreign exchange.