BoG defends the construction of a new $250 million headquarters; says the existing building is not earthquake-resistant.
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has provided a justification for the building of a new headquarters by stating that its existing head office, which was constructed in the 1960s, is no longer suitable for its current functions.
During a news conference held on August 8, 2018, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) levelled accusations against the Bank of Ghana for allegedly spending $250 million on the construction of a new head office.
"Perhaps the most worrying reality is that, having driven the Bank of Ghana to this dreadful financial state, the Governor and his deputies have considered it reasonable and expedient to invest $250 million (GHC2.8 billion) on another Head Office building someplace at Ridge. This is perhaps the most troubling aspect of the situation. Cassiel Ato Forson, the leader of the minority party, described this action as "the height of insensitivity in the management of the finances of a troubled country," given the current state of affairs.
As a response, the Central Bank said that an inspection of the building's structural integrity that was carried out on the current office revealed that the structure did not satisfy the complete complement of extra strength that is required for a building to be considered safe for use.
In addition, the BoG stated that there was a possibility that the building could sustain considerable damage in the event of a gravity and wind loading scenario that represented the absolute worst case scenario.
"A structural integrity assessment that was conducted by the BoG revealed that the current BoG Head Office building, which was built by the Nkrumah Government in the early 1960s, is no longer fit for purpose and could not stand up to any major earth tremors."
According to the findings of the structural integrity work, the primary building does not have the complete complement of excess strength that is necessary for a structure to be regarded as safe for occupants to use. This indicates that the building may be considerably impacted in the event of the worst-case scenario for gravity and wind loading, such as an unusually strong wind, for example.
"Also, the structure does not possess the necessary levels of strength to be able to withstand the significant earthquake loads that are anticipated to be imposed on it in the event that an earthquake takes place in the Accra area." The Board and Management of the Bank of Ghana considered a new Head Office building to be the most important priority project to support the operational efficiency of the Bank, and also position the Bank of Ghana in a very good position to be the host of the regional Central Bank. Based on the above, and looking at the strategic objective of positioning Ghana as the financial hub of the subregion, with prospects of a potential headquarters for a future regional Central Bank.