Sierra Leone
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Sierra Leone’s missing Central Bank Governor, the New Leone and NGC strategic alliance with SLPP – Op ed

Alan Luke: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 March 2023:

The opposition National Grand Coalition (NGC) Party are currently discussing strategic alliance with the ruling SLPP ahead of elections in June 2023. However, as we go into these elections, one of the major economic strategies of the Bio government – the redenomination of the Leone, lies in tatters.

The Central Bank Governor – Professor Kelfala Kallon (Photo above) who was tasked with implementing the New Leone has been quietly replaced – or missing in action, without any official statement.

Meanwhile, the transition period for the phasing out of the Leone has been kicked into the long grass until 1st of January 2024, long after the current term of the current administration would have ended.

There is little doubt the redenomination of the Leone has resulted in the collapse of the Leone in the foreign exchange markets, causing hyperinflation as food prices continue to rise sharply, since November 2022 at around 45%.

NGC leaders are pursuing a strategic alliance with the Bio government amid growing concern over the impact that this disastrous monetary policy is having on the NGC support base – the voiceless, the vulnerable, the unemployed, and the youths who can barely make ends meet and are facing hunger.

The question that must be asked is this: What assurance are the NGC leaders providing their constituents in justifying their engagement with the government, aimed at addressing this massive economic downturn that is now crippling the nation? (Photo above: Dr Kandeh Yumkella – NGC leader).

The sacking of the Central Bank Governor, with no official statement from the government as well as the decision to postpone the transition period for the phasing out of the Leone, do not inspire public confidence in the NGC’s engagement with the government on a matter of such major economic importance.

Clearly, “Ar dae tok to President Bio, en ar go continue for tok to President Bio” – is not an effective political strategy. It is not, and will not improve the lives of the poor people of Sierra Leone.

Central Bank statement of the Leone