CSOs Urge President Bio To Show Bank Governor Exit Door

At a press conference held at the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists Conference Hall on Campbell Street in Freetown, three Civil Society Organisations: Forum of Sierra Leonean Youth Network (FoSLYN), Citizens Forum for Democratic Accountability (C4D) and League of Democracy Advocate (LoDA), issued a press release in which they called for the resignation of the Bank Governor, Kelfala Kallon. They disclosed that their call was necessitated by the downward trend of the economy that has resulted in a substantial increase in inflation and its attendant hardship on the people.

Marcus Bangura, Executive Director of the C4D, whilst reading the release, stated that three main people are responsible for the handling of the country’s economy: the Bank Governor, Minister of Finance and the Financial Secretary, but among the three, the most important of them is the Bank Governor, who has the mandate to ensure that prudent fiscal policies are produced to address the country’s currency in line with foreign currencies, and that he has woefully failed in the discharge of his duties, which has led the economy to go on a downward trend. He maintained that whilst the President is the Head of Government, he is not an Economist, nor does he have the say on such policies, and that it is the Bank Governor that should ensure that prudent policies are put in place to revamp the economy. In their view, the failure of the Bank Governor to change the country’s economy to a progressive one; is an indication of betraying the trust that the President had in him when he appointed him to handle the Central Bank, and effectively become the Economic Adviser to the President.

According to the CSOs, it is this failure that had prompted many citizens to call for the resignation of the Governor. They also called on President Bio, the Fountain of Honour, to ask the governor to resign and save the country from an economic collapse and restore the country’s honour among the Community of Nations.

The following reasons were given for the call for the resignation of Governor Kelfala Kallon:

  1. We are appaled at the economic downturn in Sierra Leone, with the incessant rise in the cost of goods and services, and quite recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report that indicated that the economy of Sierra Leone is at its lowest ebb, with a projected growth falling from 3.4% to 2.4%, inflation rate is almost 29.7%, Consumer Price Index is too bad to talk about, and the country’s Gross Domestic Product is still stagnated under the watch of the Bank Governor.
  2. The market forces of demand and supply are challenged, as a result of this mess, the country is still at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. In fact the Leone continues to be dwarfed by foreign currencies.
  3. We have come to the realization that the Bank Governor is the Gate Keeper of Sierra Leone’s economy, but he has not been magnanimous enough to handle the economy by putting in place strong fiscal and monetary policy.
  4. The Bank Governor lacks the requisite knowledge and experience required to serve as the Bank Governor, taking credence of the fact that he has never worked in any banking and financial institution.
  5. It is no secret that the Bank Governor has been accused of printing the national currency for about three times without the approval of Parliament, and even when he was summoned by Parliament; he did not show up, an indication that he is inapt and lacked accountability and transparency.
  6. The de-zeroing or redenomination of the Leone has added salt to injury, creating an economic hardship that has never been experienced in the country, with the national currency depreciating at break-neck speed to foreign currencies, resulting in an exponential increase in the prices of basic social amenities and services.
  7. Since his appointment as Bank Governor of Sierra Leone, Mr. Kelfala Kallon has failed to manage the overall state of the economy and stability of the financial systems, and there has been inconsistencies in the implementation of his economic policy reforms and reconstruction, for which the economy has dragged into geometrical retrogression rather than accelerate in arithmetic progression, which, by itself, undermines economic growth.
  8. The Bank Governor has failed to oversee the Bank’s three main policies, which, among other things, includes control of inflation, improvement of the financial system and promotion of individual Commercial Banks. We were expecting that the Bank Governor could have controlled inflation by keeping the cost of living stable, set interest at each month and make sure prices rise at set targets, improve on the financial system by connecting people who want to save, invest or borrow money, and reduce the risks in the system, and ensure that Commercial Banks are run well.
  9. The Bank Governor has cost the state to extravagantly disburse $68 million to combat the hoarding of the Leone. However, disbursement of the colossal amount of $68 million was a failed policy, and it shows that the Bank Governor is incompetent and inefficient enough to manage the economy of Sierra Leone, which has been on life support machine for the past four years.
  10. The Bank Governor has also added salt to injury for failing to tell the people of Sierra Leone  about the missing coins, which have not been seen in the market, save on paper, despite the fact that the redenomination provided for coins. The multimillion dollar question Sierra Leoneans are asking is: “where our coins are and why they are not in circulation to ease business transactions?
  11. The failure of the Bank Governor to control the currency and the commercial banks has led the bank to lack grip of the economy, and his failure to inform the people of Sierra Leone about the amount of the printed new Leone, is a show of lack of accountability.
  12. The fact that the Bank Governor admits failing Sierra Leoneans over the handling of the economy and that he has done everything humanly possible and cannot revive the economy, and allowing him to continue holding the office is a complete disservice to the nation..

The meeting was climaxed by a question and answer session.

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