Ghana’s central bank has decided to purchase 18-karat gold watches for 72 retiring staff at the cost of $504,000 from a Swiss watch company in the capital Accra.
A local newspaper broke the news on Wednesday after it got access to a document sent to the country’s procurement authority for approval of the sole-sourcing justification for the purchase of the gold watches.
The bank explained that it had breached no laws and the gold watches for 25 women and 48 men are part of an award scheme in place since the 1970s to reward those who have served for 30 years and more.
It is very rewarding to work at the Bank of Ghana [because] you retire on your pension; you have your house [and] with all these you still go the extra mile to buy gold watches.
“No procurement rules were breached in presenting sole sourcing justification to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval,” the bank’s Communications Director, Bernard Otabil, told local radio Joy FM.
The news however caused a stir in the media and social media platforms with people questioning the choice of gold watches and insisting a breach in the country’s procurement process.
“It is very rewarding to work at the Bank of Ghana [because] you retire on your pension; you have your house [and] with all these you still go the extra mile to buy gold watches,” an opposition Member of Parliament Alexander Afenyo Markins also told Joy FM.
He added that the bank cannot justify its use of sole-sourcing for the purchases citing Act 663 of the Public Procurement law which gives a list of conditions for sole-sourcing.
The issue rages on and the success of the purchases will be determined in the coming days.
Ghana exports gold, Ghana imports gold watches for central bank officials at 1000X the revenue from the gold export…..#WhiteMansWorld— AwaKeneD BlacK KxnG (@nana4all) October 6, 2016
The money used in buying the gold watches can be used to pay Teacher & Nursing training allowances.Ghana is full of surprises. Sark's Voice— Sir Alby † (@Itz_Kwakwa) October 6, 2016
The foolish men and women at Bank Of Ghana who bought gold watches worth $2million are the very same who complain youth of today are lazy.— KesterAburamKorankye (@AburamKorankye) October 6, 2016
Bank of Ghana dey trend since yesti” me na i figa say dem dey dash work&pay taxi make i go claim some o. S3 Gold watches in election yr!— Phatau Gh (@charles_phatau) October 6, 2016