Experts perplexed as Azerbaijani Central Bank spends 220 mln EUR on new building
Turkish company Tekfen Holding won a tender for the construction of a new building for the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.
The 37-story skyscraper will cost the country’s budget a total of 218 million euros. Experts unanimously declare that the central bank does not need a new building, especially one that is so costly.
Director of the construction company Tekfen İnşaat ve Tesisat A.Ş. Mustafa Kopuza said that the new administrative building of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan should be finished in approximately three years The height of the 37-story building will be 168 meters, with a total area of 67,981 square meters.
Moreover, the building will be located on Heydar Aliyev Avenue – along the main route from the airport to the city center. Several other new skyscrapers are located on the same street, such as the administrative buildings of various state-owned companies of the country – Azersu, SOCAR, and others.
Independent experts are unsure of whether it is truly necessary to spend such a large amount of money from the country’s budget on the construction of a new building that the Central Bank has no real need for.
“Deciding to renovate an administrative building should either be based on a clear and justified necessity or any other logical explanation”, said Natik Jafarli, an economist and one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Alternative party.
In his opinion, when the country is facing several serious economic problems, the construction of new administrative buildings for government institutions is hardly the right course of action and is not a justifiable one either.
“The construction of new buildings for government agencies has always been associated with a change in the overall infrastructure. For example, they wanted to turn Heydar Aliyev Avenue into a business quarter, where the headquarters of all the main governmental institutions would be located. Such a plan existed in 2009-2010 when most of the corresponding construction works were carried out.
Azersu OJSC, the State Oil Fund, and the administrative buildings of some other institutions were relocated to this area, and some were built from scratch. If I am not mistaken, one of the AZAL offices is also located there.
However, in 2009-2010 the country was not facing any real economic problems, as the price of oil was very high, and such projects were understandable. Today, though, it does not look very logical.
Over 200 million manat has been spent on the construction of the Azersu administrative building. And there are regions in the country where problems with water supply and sewerage are yet to be solved. Instead of investing in a new administrative building, it would be more appropriate to direct the resources towards solving these existing problems.
On the other hand, the Central Bank has at its disposal a very beautiful and modern building. It was constructed in 1998 and is located at the very heart of the capital. Is it truly necessary to upgrade it?
One should also bear in mind that a highly secure treasury and a comprehensive security infrastructure are located in the basement of the current Central Bank building. Moreover, withdrawn banknotes and the money reserves are stored there.
For much less money, it would be possible to modernize this building, install new means of protection, and improve security measures. This would cost a maximum of 5-10 million manat. And it would seem like a much more logical solution.
The 450 million manat will be spent on the construction of a new administrative building, but it would be more logical to spend the resources on solving social problems, and restoring the territories liberated from occupation.
This is the building of the Central Bank of Estonia.
In this country, the minimum wage is 584 euros, the average monthly salary is 1472 euros, and the minimum wage of primary and secondary school teachers is 1315 euros. Thank you for your attention”, economic observer Shahin Jafarli said in a post on his Facebook page, commenting on the plans to construct a new administrative building for the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.