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General News of Thursday, 6 October 2016

Source: Bright Dzakah

BoG gold watch saga: Is that a wise decision? - Kan Dapaah asks

The immediate Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and former Member of Parliament for Afigya-Sekyere West constituency in the Ashanti Region has questioned the decision by the authorities at the Central Bank to spend hooping US$504,000 on gold watches as a retirement benefit to some workers of the National Bank.

Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah said it is unwise for the Board of the state Bank to reach such conclusion.

According to the former law maker, the authorities of Bank of Ghana would have done a lot of good to the benefactors and the country at large if they have invested the said money for a long term benefit rather than squandering it on a luxurious watches which are being procured from outside the shores of the country.

“Is that they only way to give these workers end of service benefit, is it a wise decision they took, there is no need for the bank to be extravagant, these workers would have been best served if that money have been invested” the former legislator told Nana Yaw Opare, sit-in-host for Onua fm Morning show host ‘Ye Sempa”.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) in a statement denied claims it engaged in frivolous spending following reports that it blew US$504,000 on gold watches explaining that the expenditure is part of its policy.

The statement also assured that no procurement rules were breached in presenting sole sourcing justification to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval.

But the former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee disagreed with the assertion, maintaining that the Public Procurement Authority is gradually letting Ghanaians down as it is easily sanctioning procurements as the Bank of Ghana Gold Watch Saga.

He posited that it was anticipated that with the introduction of the Public Procurement Authority, issues of corruption using sole sourcing will either be minimized of a thing of the past, but “I can tell you the story is different.

They are destroying the work done so far, anybody at all just write to the Procurement Authority and approval is given, and these are issues that are still promoting the corruption.

Kan Dapaah explained that if the Central Bank will make it a policy to give gold watch as end of service benefit to its workers, it must be made clear so that everyone will be cleared so that it would not create any doubts.

“What is good for the ‘big men’ is good for the ordinary people, we need to debate this”

He also expressed worries over the soaring expenditure of the country, adding that the country’s donors which included the IMF and the World Bank are paying close attention to the country’s expenditure and issues of lavish spending such as buying of gold watch will not be sending the right signals.