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The newly appointed Governor of Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Dr. Ibrahim Lahai Stevens, has confirmed that the old Leones shall not be used as legal tender in the country as of December 31, 2023.

The new Bank Governor made the disclosure during his vetting process at the Committee on Approval in Committee Room One in Parliament on Monday 13th November, 2023. According to Dr. Ibrahim L. Stevens, they are doing everything humanly possible to make sure the transition goes on smoothly, adding that they have put mechanisms in place for a robust plan to manage the transition wherein nobody will lose face value during the process.

In his response to answering the question posed by the Committee Chairman, Hon. Mathew Sahr Nyuma, who is also Leader of Government Business in Parliament, on the timeframe and sufficiency of new Leones to the public, Governor Stevens said in terms of the phasing out and timeframe of the transition, a release will be issued out very soon from the Bank of Sierra Leone explaining details of the transition without losing values and timeline.

The Bank Governor further disclosed: “We would have an ordinary transition. We would also make sure that there are sufficient new Leones by January 2024.

Subsequently, you can bring the old currency bock to the Bank of Sierra Leone and get face value with the new currency. From now to December 31 this year, you would have an opportunity either to commercial banks, Bank of Sierra Leone, or any banks to replace old currency.” Other members of the Committee including Hon.

Aaron Koroma and Hon. Dickson Rogers cautioned the Bank Governor to be cautious in dealing with the redenomination of the Leones as, according to him, it is barely 48 days left in 2023 and the old Leones are still predominantly in banks and bureaus nationwide.

The new Bank Governor was appointed two weeks ago by President Julius Maada Bio from the position of Deputy Governor of the BSL, to the substantive Governor of the Central Bank. Dr. Stevens succeeds Professor Keifala M. Kallon, who has been on indefinite leave since March, this year.

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