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Opinions of Friday, 7 October 2016

Columnist: AFAG

Probe BoG gold watch spending

At a time when unemployment rate especially among the youth keeps rising, the economy is struggling and the Ghana Cedi is one of the worst performing currency across the globe, it is unbelievable that the Bank Of Ghana would rather focus on blowing over half a million dollars of the taxpayers money on buying gold wrist watches for staff of the organization.

A report circulating on various news outlets that the Bank of Ghana decided to spend an equivalent of Ghc2 million of the taxpayer's money on procuring 72 units of Tissot Gold Watches as part of packages for staff members' end of service benefit is difficult to comprehend. The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) condemns this display of opulence. It is reckless and needless.

Ghana is currently in a situation where many of our fellow countrymen, young and old, are facing serious economic hardship and lack access to very basic social amenities. Yet, the leadership of Bank of Ghana chose to engage in a spendthrift expenditure of this volume to satisfy a handful of people.

AFAG calls on the president to probe this matter to the core and ensure that the Ghanaian public is made aware of how their taxes are being put to use. Scandals of this nature cannot continue to happen and swept under the carpet within the public sector.

It is very worrying that, over the past 7 years, the politics of patronage by the NDC government inevitably has rewarded the wasteful use of public resources. No one has been punished. Such Perpetuators have always been shielded from prosecution or harbored for convenience. No wonder other public institutions are emboldened to repeat same.

Mr. President the scar still remains because of the inactions of the attorney general and possibly the lack of commitment of government to prosecute. Ghanaians forever remember the comical approach to Woyome's trial and among others Subah, Gyeeda, Asongtaba,Waterville,$4 million world cup scandal, lavish expenditure by former CHRAJ boss( over $145000 for hotel rental at Best Western), Smarty's deal.

Mr. President while some communities are wallowing in abject poverty and hoping for a KVIP or borehole just to live, another state institution with unlimited access to public resources are busily engaged in opulence. This is not fair and against the basic principle of equity.

Conclusion:

It is in this regard that we are calling for a probe. Failure, we will call for a mass action. AFAG next week will state clearly our next line of action but for now Mr. President the ball is in your court.