Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has replaced the country’s Central Bank Governor. Dr Patrick Conteh with Prof. Kaifala Kallon.The appointment of the Economics professor is subject to parliamentary approval, according to Sierra Leonean laws.
A statement from State House, signed by President Julius Maada Bio himself, on Thursday did not give any reason for the decision which has prompted criticism from supporters of the former ruling All People’s Congress (APC).
The term of tenue for the position is five years and Dr Conteh was appointed by former President Ernest Bai Koroma in July 2017, meaning he still has four more years to go.
Supporters of the current government are however defending the decision, citing the apparent inability of the sacked governor to handle one of the most pressing economic issues in the country at the moment, inflation.
The Central bank is responsible for formulating the country’s monetary policy, yet the last few months have seen the local currency, the Leone’s value dropping significantly.
Its current official exchange rate to the US Dollar is Le 8,130.80, according to Central Bank figures as of Friday, compared to Le7, 500 when the new government assumed office in early April.
The Ministry of Finance blames the situation on the policies put in place by the last government and the downfall of the mining sector which used to be the major foreign currency earner.
Conteh was the fifth Central Bank Governor appointed by Koroma during his ten years in office.