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

The Bank Governor disclosed this information at the Committee on Approval in Committee Room One in Parliament on Monday 13th November, 2023, during the vetting process.

He said that they are doing everything humanly possible to make sure that 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 who doubles as Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Hon. Mathew Nyuma 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.

“We would have an orderly transition. We would also make sure that there are sufficient new Leones by January 2024. Subsequently, you can bring the old currency back to the Bank of Sierra Leone and get face value with the new currency. From now to December 31st this year, you would have an opportunity either to commercial banks, Bank of Sierra Leone, or any banks to replace old currency,” he said.

Other members of the Committee including Honorable Aron Koroma and Dickson Rogers cautioned the governor to be cautious in dealing with the redenomination of the Leones, as according to them, it is barely 48 days left in 2023 and the old Leones are still predominant in banks and bureaus nationwide.

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