Over Shortage of Cash… Don’t Blame the Bank Governor

Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Professor Kelfala Kallon

By Amin Kef Sesay

Towards the end of the year, 2020 ,individuals who had monies in their bank accounts at various commercial banks were unable to access monies above the ceiling set by those banks.

For example, those having accounts at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) could only withdraw up to one million Leones were as those having money at the Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB) could withdraw up to five million Leones only. However, special concessions were given to persons who could prove beyond all reasonable doubts that they have important functions to take place, like marriage, for which they required huge sums of money.

Indeed, since it was the festive season it was a very frustrating experience for certain people.

Some have heaped the blame on the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Professor Kelfala Kallon, and by extension the SLPP led Government headed by President Julius Maada Bio for the unfortunate situation, saying the Governor in particular should have prevented it from happening.

In as much as the situation was and still continues to be frustrating, inconvenient , however, this medium went out in order to really try to understand what actually led to it instead of  following or joining others to give skewed political interpretations to the problem and  seriously bashing the Governor.

In an interview with the Governor of Sierra Leone, he succinctly explained the events leading to the present state and after analysing them thoroughly it was concluded that his explanation makes complete sense.

He mentioned that we in Africa should count ourselves lucky, having been so far shielded from the devastating effects of the corona pandemic which has led to a slowdown in everything.

The Governor stated that if we think of how many containers are arriving at the sea port these days compared to what it used to be during the pre-Corona days then we will have a better understanding that it is not the ineffectiveness or insensitivity of the Government that created the ugly situation.

He highlighted that they had inter alia made sure to order enough for two years but then the Corona struck and everything slowed down.

Professor Kelfala Kallon furthered that printers could not honour orders on time and the situation became compounded by people hoarding for reasons only they know.

He reiterated how the pandemic has adversely affected all countries, in various areas and maybe that is how it has decided to come down on Mama Salone.

“It is frustrating, inconvenient for all right now, including myself  the Governor,” he lamented adding that countries, even the most developed like the US go through times of stress as we also do in our individual personal lives.

Professor Kelfala Kallon said the silver lining to it all is it will not be forever, it will pass. He underscored how the pandemic has struck in many diverse ways, both countries and individuals. In Sierra Leone the shortage of cash in banks is one way, according to him.

The Governor came across as honest, sincere and dedicated to his job.


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