Ibrahim B. Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 March 2023:
When I read a book titled “No News is Bad News” 2001 edition by Michael Bromley of the Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media Research at Cardiff University, I learnt that even the news of Professor Kallon’s sacking is appreciated for the wrong reasons – as someone who was hired by H.E President Maada Bio to disfigure and dismember the economy of Sierra Leone for solid 5 years.
On Monday 13th March 2023, news broke out on social media that Professor Kelfala Murana Kallon (Photo), nicknamed ‘the desk economist’ appointed by H.E Maada Bio, who re-denominated or recalibrated our Leone and wreaked serious havoc on the economy for five years has been removed as Central Bank Governor of Sierra Leone.
We will not forget in haste the impact of his actions. I urge readers to browse through the following three key highlights of Professor Kallon’s tenure as Bank Governor:
• The Leone-Dollar exchange rate has been suffocated and severely compromised to the point that our currency is the second least valued on the continent. The New Leone (NLe) is now ranked the second weakest legal tender or currency in Africa after the Dobra (Db) of São Tomé (Source: Sierraloaded 2022). The exchange rate is 1 USD = 17,665 SLL Mar 13, 2023.
• Wasted 68 Million US Dollars to bribe people who were hoarding the Leone to bring it into the banking system. He made this statement in front of the country’s honourable members of parliament and journalists. Corruption experts say in any serious country that has a serious anti-corruption commission, Governor Professor Kallon should have been behind bars or police cell awaiting trial on direct corruption charges including bribery. As usual, the ACC Ben Kaifala later exonerated him that he did nothing wrong.
• Bank of Sierra Leone policy-induced hyperinflation is causing 73 percent of Sierra Leoneans to be food insecure (source: World Food Programme (2022); www.world bank.org /retrieved on March 14, 2023).
Inflation rate as at June 27 2022 according to the IMF (2022) stands at 27 percent (source: www.imf.org /retrieved on March 14, 2023).
Under the economic governance of the current political administration nicknamed ‘RANKANOMICS’ by some media critics, Sierra Leone ranks at 180 out of 187 of the poorest countries in the world according to the Human Development Index (Source: UNDP 2022).
For many Sierra Leoneans, the economic outlook of Sierra Leone seems to be dire rather than hopeful, unless there is a dramatic change after the June 24, 2023 Polls.
About the author
Ibrahim B. Koroma is a Researcher and the Executive Coordinator of Advocacy Network for Community Development (ANCD) in Sierra Leone.
The Bank Governor it has been said many times is not qualified for this position these jobs are not about political patronage alone but the ability to perform.
Bank Governors typically will have experience of working in or with a central bank or similar institution; or will have worked at the most senior level in a major bank or other financial institution. The person does not have to be a professor or a PhD holder but must have the experience.
The president made a serious error of judgement in appointing the professor whose most recent experience was in academia for which we the citizens are now paying the ultimate price for his incompetence.
I was just saying the same thing to a friend. Experience not titles is the key in economics. Technocrats are what we need not professors.