Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 September: 2022:
Calls are growing once again for President Bio to sack the Central Bank Governor – Professor Kelfala Kallon (Photo above), as the country’s economy and its currency – the New Leone, continue to descend into free fall, amid huge rise in costs of living for millions of poor people across the country.
Speaking on AYV TV early this week, the people of Sierra Leone were looking for credible words of comfort from the Bank Governor to show that the government of president Bio has got grips on the growing economic crisis, but they were disappointed.
Many viewers were left feeling that the Bank Governor has run out of ideas in controlling rising inflation that is now making the New Leone worthless.
Last week, the Bank Governor published a statement saying that the government’s decision to phase the old Leone out of circulation has been postponed, and will now come into effect in March next year, as the central bank struggles to convince people to turn in their stock of old Leones.
Some analysts say that with a huge stock of old Leones in circulation, and the Bank’s inability to supply New Leones to commercial banks, the Central Bank’s monetary policy is in disarray.
Writing on Twitter, this is what Lamrana Bah – AYV TV presenter, said about his interview with the Bank Governor:
These are just some of the responses to the Bank Governor’s statements:
Professor Kelfala Kallon, one of the numerous ‘square pegs implanted on round holes’, by this inept, self serving, tribalistic PAOPA regime, with millions of our citizens now subjected to an ever increasing, never before seen hardship, that suddenly befall our nation, the minute these thievery cabal took control of state governance, preceding over 18 months before the emergence of Covid-19, and now the Russia- Ukrainian war. Having a PHD in economics and spending over 30yrs in the classroom lecturing theory, without ever managing a simple business, a town or city economy, should have never been regarded as a qualification to resuscitate an impoverished nation’s economy.
With the citizens of Sierra Leone tired of the rampant corruption within the Ernest Bai Koroma’s regime and the economic downturn that followed after the Ebola epidemic, these clueless, unaccomplished, devil’s incarnates, were all over the place, spewing lies, claiming of being capable of turning around our nation’s economic turmoil within 6 months, if given a chance. The citizens were told the APC regime was inept and lacks what it take to ever develop our nation, despite overseeing a period of rapid road construction and a rated fastest growing economy in the world.
The minute the keys to the national vault were handed over to these kleptomaniacs, the excuses and blame game suddenly become their anthem. First, we were told the previous regime left empty coffers. However, both the 2018 and 2019 audit reports reveal the contrary, with billions of leones gone missing and accounted for by the incoming PAOPA thieves. As the Leone descends into free fall against foreign currencies, we were told former APC ministers were hoarding the dollars. This led to Bank of Salone auctioning dollars at intervals. With no positive results, the black market dollar boys became the scapegoats, with a ban passed to cease operation. Yet things continue to get worst. Then comes the claim of former APC ministers hoarding the Leones, hence the ill conceived reintroduction of a new currency. With the new currency on hand now, with more economic bad news, Convid, Russia, and Ukraine suddenly become the new culprit. We are doomed!
Redenominating the Leone was a great risk at a time of a global crisis with increased cost of fuel and basic commodities and prior to that the Covid 19 pandemic that created serious supply chain challenges that is still felt around the world.
The Bank Governor must know that allowing the old Leone to continue in circulation for a longer period having already introduced the new Leone in to the economy is bound to create inflationary pressures with too much money in the economy. You don’t have to be an economist to know that.
The decision to redenominate could have been put on hold. Government spending remains high and any increase in public sector wages will have to be paid for in some way a question our parliamentarians should be asking.
The timing was wrong and there will be consequences for the economy and the living standards of our people. I hope the SLPP parliamentarians who instead of looking at the consequences were busy playing politics would explain to their constituents how we got here.