The Acting Bank Governor of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Kelfala Joe Kallon, yesterday opined that the country’s currency is under speculative attack. He made that statement at the Harry Yansaneh Hall on Campbell Street in Freetown while addressing journalists on the current status of the economy and some of the measures he intends to take to solve the financial problems they inherited if approved by Parliament.
Dr. Kallon lamented that the Central Bank sells the dollar to Commercial Banks but the latter refuse to sell it to the general public rather running a cartel with senior officials within the sector to sell it through the black market. He argued that by so doing the amount of dollars is bound to be in short supply also contributing to the depreciation of the Leone.
“Recently we released close to $ 10 million to stabilize the black market and I think by so doing there will be some financial sanity but we also have to monitor these Commercials Banks to know why people go there to get dollars but are refused selling the currency to them rather telling them that it is not available,” the Acting Bank Governor stated.
“When a government keeps borrowing money it prevents the private sector from having money to invest and such causes more hardship,” he furthered.
He stated that the Central Bank is just an advisory financial policy body to the Government of Sierra Leone.
“I will make sure within the confines of the law that I bring back all monies that left this country illegally and I know how to do that,” he bragged.
He pointed out that it will take 9 months for any country that is hit by an economic shock to normalize again because it is not only about monetary policies but it also has to do with fiscal policy. “I will not promise that thing will be okay overnight which is why we all need to help the President especially in the area of fighting corruption,” he suggested.
He stated that the Central Bank will set up a Community Advisory Board at the Banks to access how the various policies will benefit them.
Fighting corruption even within the institution that I work will be my biggest challenge.