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23rd July 2018

Is the Dollarisation Under the SLPP Government's New Direction Helpful?

Asks D-Leaf (07/07/18)

History taught us that Sierra Leone was a British crowned colony. But indications show the almighty US dollar reigning supreme. Is it helpful?


After metamophorsing from the pre-colonial batter system of trade through the exchange use of cowry shells and salts, Sierra Leone inherited the currency of our colonial masters which i.e. British pounds sterling. The British are part and parcel of the European Union but strongly oppossed to the monetary change and use of the Euro in 2009.

Sierra Leone used the pounds, shillings and pence for a long time till the birth of our independence from Great British in April 27 1961. Since then "Thomas De La Rue" in France has been producing our Leones for a very long time.

Earlier, the exchange rate was two Leones to the pounds sterling. The world uses diverse currencies such as the Dollar, Pound, Yen, Leone, Niara, CFA Francs, etc, etc. Most consumable and development market springs in from China that uses the Yen.

Now how comes today, school fees in some learning institution house bills, purchasing of cars or lorries, rentage, even payment to some prostitutes for their services etc demand payments in dollars? Don't get me wrong for we purposely mean the United States of American dollars in our country.

We believe certain individuals and some state institutions have to carry the blame. Check the exchange rate today, things are getting unbearable and harder for one has to exchange eight thousand five hundred leones (Le8,500.00) for a single US dollar. And in some other areas even close to nine thousand (9,000.00) leones is exchanged for one American dollar.

As business imports and distribution, it is mostly orchestrated by the Lebanese, Nigerians and Fullahs. The middle men, business groups are left under their mercy to accept any stipulated exchange rates or payments in dollars for their merchandise or services.

They in turn inflate the market prices for the consumers. Please lets open our eyes! We also believe that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Finance and the Bank of Sierra Leone have a lot to do in that aspect.

But what's really going on? We are afraid that we might soon have to be using the US dollar for everything in Sierra Leone. Why is the money black market industry rapidly flourishing in the country?

Let us closely watch this dollarisation epidemic in our beloveth land that we love our Sierra Leone. Parliamentarians, why not set the pace to address these issues as you represent the interests of your constituents? Why is the Bank Governor busy disbursing monies to certain selected construction companies of interest but openly allowing other genuine ones to fall?


1958 -1980


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