The Bank Governor Declares War Against Landlords.
In a press release dated 20th, August, 2019, signed by the Bank governor of Sierra Leone, professor kelfala M. Kallon, States that any contract in Dollars including rental fees is prohibited. " The prices for all transactions in Sierra Leone shall be indicated in leones," It stated. In other words, this qualifies the leones as the legal tender in which all transactions should be done.
However, this directive by the Bank governor is considered as a step in helping to tackle sky rocketing of the exchange price of Dollar over the leones. According to the press release, the use of Dollars in carrying out domestic transactions is seen as way of encouraging money laundering, a help to finance terrorism, and also deemed as complete contravention of section twenty six (26) subsection four (4) of the Bank of Sierra Leone Act 2019, as quoted. The press release went further encouraging all transactions to be done in leones. And any attempt to violate this could be seen as a breach of Bank of Sierra Leone act which indicate a fine of Hundred million leones or an imprisonment term not less than three (3) years or both.
Speaking to some shop owners in the central business part of Freetown, said this press release by the Bank governor is step in the right direction to reduce the growing rate of foreign currencies in the local market, especially the US Dollar. As this negatively impacted the living condition of the general populies.They proceeded that the charging of Dollar as rental fees did not limited to an ordinary Sierra Leonean, but also some senior citizensin. Therefore, the governor must not leave any stone unturne neither must he pretect any sacred cows in implementing this laws.
One of the landlords who volunteer to speak to medium said, " we are doing business with our houses, and the soul aim of every business is to maximize profit. " meanwhile, he is convinced that receiving Dollar as the rental fees for their houses will be more profitable than leones, and the tendencies for growth in its exchange price in leones is obvious. He concluded that since the press release has been issued by Bank governor and as law abiding citizens he is ready to obey and follow any law that is relevant for the growth of Sierra Leone.
By Alusine sheriff kebe.
Business research Associate, Global Salone Property & Investment.21 November 2019, 12:56