Bank of Ghana Gold watch purchase: BoG wrong - NDC's Kwabena Fio

Speaking on Multi TV's Newsfile Saturday, Kwabena Fio said the backlash from the public on the gold watch purchase is enormous, arguing that the retired staff should have been given money instead.

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play The New Stateman newspaper on Wednesday reported that the Central Bank sent a request to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to sole source the watches from a Swiss watch Company.
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A legal practitioner and a member of the National Democratic Congress has said it was wrong for the Bank of Ghana to spend GHC2 million on gold watches for senior staff of the central bank who are on retirement.

Speaking on Multi TV's Newsfile Saturday, Kwabena Fio said the backlash from the public on the gold watch purchase is enormous, arguing that the retired staff should have been given money instead.

According to him, the confusion over the gold watch is "due to the nature of the product."

"I think that the symbolism has to do with the watch," he said.

He further argued that the BoG is independent of the central government, saying they determine their own condition of service.

"Society should all have a mind that their condition of service determine what they take home," he argued. "Condition of service is effort driven."

Asked if the government approves of the purchase, Mr Fio said: "government will not sanction it at this critical moment of our economy."

He said in practice the BoG is a distinct organisation even though "classically" it is part of the government.

The New Stateman newspaper on Wednesday reported that the Central Bank sent a request to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) to sole source the watches from a Swiss watch Company.

But the Bank in a statement signed by its communication department argued that they went through the required process to procure the watches.

“No procurement rules were breached in presenting sole sourcing justification to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval.”

The statement further justified its spending of a whopping €450,000 - an equivalent of Gh¢2 million on gold watches for its retiring staff.

The statement explained that as per the tradition of the Central Bank, they award to staff of the Bank who has served in the institution for thirty years or more.

“End of service benefits, as part of the conditions of service for staff, is a longstanding tradition of the Bank, an obligation the Bank has always fulfilled to boost staff morale and commitment to the goals and ideals of the institution. The award scheme has been the convention of the Bank since the 1970s.”

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