New BoG headquarters faces potential $500m cost overrun, says Bright Simmons


Cost and time overrun models suggest that the total cost of the new Bank of Ghana headquarters may well hit $500 million.

This is because, cost variations during actual construction worsen, notes the Honorary Vice President of Think Tank IMANI Africa, Bright Simmons.

The possible hike in the overall cost of the new Bank of Ghana headquarters is evident by the ballooning costs of the building by nearly 300% at its design stage.

In his article titled, “Why the Bank of Ghana Is Guilty”, Mr Simmons notes that documents from the procurement regulatory authorities show that even before construction could take off, approved estimates shot up from ~$80 million to more than ~$200 million.

Now that the construction rate is at roughly 40%, total cost projection is between $250 million and $300 million.

“In fact, cost and time overrun models suggest that cost variations worsen during actual construction, so the total cost may well hit $500 million,” he posited.

According to him, the cost overruns are far above the medians recorded in Ghana and the region by experts, as shown below;

Mr Simmons argues that the 300% to 500% cost overrun numbers emanating from the BoG’s headquarters project (compared to median rates of 75% in Ghana) illustrate a general pattern of disregard for prudent financial management.

“This is on top of the fact that the BoG has revised designs to remove the high-value features such as the state-of-the-art data center, currency processing system, and integrated security management system,” he added.

The new head office of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) at North Ridge is fast taking shape, despite public uproar and criticism over its $250 million cost.

The Minority is angry about the cost of the new headquarters, which they say is excessive and unnecessary as well as the losses incurred by the BoG during the 2022 fiscal year.

The BoG has however defended the cost of the new headquarters, saying that it is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the bank’s operations. The bank says that a structural integrity assessment conducted on its current headquarters revealed that the building is no longer fit for purpose.

The BoG says that the new headquarters is currently at 41% completion and is expected to be completed by September 2024.

The construction of the new headquarters has also been criticized by some architects and engineers, who say that the design is not in keeping with the architectural heritage of Accra.

Despite the criticism, the BoG has said that it is committed to completing the new headquarters.

SOURCE: Norvanreports

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