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Statement Delivered By the Governor of The Bank of Sierra Leone At The Bankís Annual Dinner On Saturday, 2nd February, 2013
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Feb 5, 2013, 17:00
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       His Excellency, The President, Dr. Ernest Bai-Koroma

        and the First Lady Mrs Sia Nyama Koroma,

       Honourable, Vice President, Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana

        and Mrs Khadija Sumana,

       Honourable Cabinet Ministers,

       Honourable Speaker and Members of Parliament,

       Her Lordship, the Chief Justice

       Your Worship, the Mayor of the Municipality of Freetown,

       Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic

        and Consular Corp,

       Chairmen of the Board of Directors and Chief Executives of Commercial Banks and Other Financial Institutions,

       President of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry,

       Representatives of the Private sector,

       Members of the Fourth Estate,

       Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

 

Mr. President, it is with humility mingled with joy that I welcome you to this annual dinner hosted by the Bank of Sierra Leone. On behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the Bank, I wish to once again congratulate you on your victory and re-election as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, during the 2012 Presidential Elections. Your re-election demonstrates the trust and confidence the people of Sierra Leone have in you and your administration.Furthermore, it is a testimony that your policies have had not only the desired impact, but also a call for continuity in implementation. I wish you success and good health in your second term in office. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate and wish the Hon. Vice President, good health and a successful second term in office. Permit me to welcome Dr. Kaifala Marah and congratulate him on his new appointment as Minister of Finance and Economic Development and wish him every success in this new and challenging assignment.  In a similar vein, I wish our erstwhile Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Samura Kamara, every success in his new assignment as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, before I proceed, kindly permit me to request you to stand and join us in observing a moment's silence in memory of our departed colleagues and pensioners who were with us last year. May their souls rest in peace.

 

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, today, I wish to speak briefly on: "Inclusive Growth and Development: The Role of the Bank of Sierra Leone".  Mr. President, this topic is crucial particularly as our country moves into the next level of growth, development and prosperity. Sierra Leone has gone through bitter experiences especially during the war and is being transformed from post-conflict status into an economy in it's development phase. The Bank of Sierra Leone played an important role in the Agenda for Change and will continue to do so in the Agenda for Prosperity. The Agenda for Prosperity is predicated on the drive towards sustainable inclusive growth and development with all Sierra Leoneans as part of the growth process and enjoying a better standard of living.  For this to occur, growth must be fair and equitable for structural economic transformation.Permit me to provide an overview of some of the global, regional and domestic economic developments for 2012, before deliberating on the Bank's role in promoting inclusive growth and development.

Bank Governor, Sambadeen Sesay

 

Global Economic Developments

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, the global economic environment in 2012 was weak with the greatest risk to recovery being the vicious cycle of high unemployment, the fiscal gridlock in the United States (US), the lingering Eurozone financial and economic crisis, as well as the slowdown in output growth in the key emerging Asian economies. The debt crisis in the Eurozone has had a significant impact on global trade and business confidence not only in the Euro area, but in other economies such as Japan and the US. Growth in the emerging markets, particularly China and India, was hard hit by the slow global economy and weak external demand. According to IMF World Economic Outlook Report, global growth projection for 2012 dropped to 3 percent compared to an initial projection of 3.4 percent, with a high probability of the final global growth figure falling below 2.0 percent for 2012.Growth for 2013 has also been revised downward from 3.9 to 3.6 percent.

 

Distinguished guests, growth rates in the advanced economies are estimated at 1.3 percent in 2012 and 1.6 percent in 2013. The US economy continued on the path of modest recovery with the beleaguered housing market showing signs of recovery, but following natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy across the east coast of the United States, and the persistently high unemployment rate, the downside risks to the US recovery remained, which was further intensified by the looming "fiscal cliff" and lingering debt ceiling.

 

The Eurozone is officially in recession with Germany's growth rate slowing and France stagnating, in addition to the persistent uncertainty over agreements on a fiscal union. Real GDP in the Zone is projected to contract by 0.4 percent in 2012 with unemployment rising to 11.50 percent. The core economies in the Zone are expected to experience low but positive growth. With the current fragility in the global economy, policies in the Eurozone were directed towards spending cuts, debt reduction and efforts to stimulate growth and increase employment. 

 

In emerging Asia, growth was estimated to have significantly weakened as China's economy slowed for the seventh consecutive quarter to 7.4 percent in Q3, 2012. Most Asian countries continued to be affected by weak export growth.

 

In the commodities market, oil prices remained sensitive to supply disruptions and geopolitical risks and as a result showed some signs of increase during the year. While food prices increased, the prices of other commodities including metals fell during 2012.

 

Regional Economic Developments

Your Excellency, Dstinguished Guests, Africa was however largely unaffected by the market volatility in Europe. The continent substantially benefited from revenues generated from oil, gas and minerals aided by foreign direct investment which helped to stimulate considerable economic activity. African economies thus exhibited relatively strong growth of 5.0 percent in 2012 with domestic demand providing solid support to growth, complemented by public and private investments.  Despite these favourable conditions, some African countries witnessed political instability and drought, which have presented some downside risks. However, it is encouraging to note that the inflation surge has been largely reversed, and most countries have been able to contain inflationary threats despite rising food prices. This was achieved on the back of African economies improving their policy frameworks through greater exchange rate flexibility and more countercyclical macroeconomic policies.

 

Sub Regional Economic Developments 

The ECOWAS sub region posted strong economic growth in 2012, of around 5.5 percent, despite instability in Mali and Guinea Bissau, with the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) group recording growth rates of about 6 percent. The strong growth which was slightly lower than 2011, was based on impressive performances in agriculture and services sectors which benefitted from good weather, increased investment in infrastructure and impressive performances in other sectors such as financial services, telecommunications and tourism. Inflation was largely contained to single digit at 9.1 percent in the entire ECOWAS region, lower than the African average of 9.6 percent due to the stability of the CFA Franc. However, the WAMZ countries experienced higher inflation at about 11.1 percent compared to the countries in the West African Monetary Union (WAMU).

 

Domestic Economic Developments

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development has given us an exhaustive analysis of the state of the economy in his Statement on the Economic and Financial Policies for Financial Year 2013, delivered in the Chamber of Parliament on the 21st December 2012, but permit me to highlight a few developments pertaining to the general economy and financial sector.

 

The Sierra Leone economy continues to experience significant growth with real GDP estimated at 18.2 percent including mining activities, and 6.3 percent excluding mining for 2012, compared to 6 percent in 2011. The growth in GDP was driven by buoyant activities in various sub-sectors including mining, agriculture, manufacturing and construction complemented by improved financial services, all of which contributed to a favorable macroeconomic environment, in accordance with Government's development agenda.

 

The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) on its part, continued to implement prudent monetary policy, while supporting the financing of Government's development activities. In this regard, monetary policy remained sufficiently tight in 2012 in support of price stability, as the Bank utilized market-based policy instruments to ensure that monetary aggregates are at levels consistent with the macroeconomic fundamentals.However, the Bank's monetary policy management was challenged by factors including fiscal overruns stemming from the scaling up of Government's development projects.

 

Distinguished Guests, despite these challenges, monetary accommodation remained within the statutory limit as spelt out in the BSL Act 2011. From end December 2011 to end December 2012, the Bank's monetary policy strategy ensured stability in the securities market with the average annual yield for the 91-days Treasury Bills declining from  23.42 percent to 19.13 percent, 182-days Treasury Bills  from  29.55 percent  to  25.56 percent, and 364-days Treasury Bills from 28.63 percent to 25.85 percent.

 

I am pleased to report that inflation has been on the decline since the start of  2012. As at end December 2011, inflation was recorded at 16.64 percent and by end December 2012, it was 11.86 percent.

 

Despite the decline in the prices of our export commodities particularly iron ore, in the world market, the value of our total exports increased as a result of the increased volumes of output. The total value of imports however declined compared to the previous year, in spite of the rise in fuel and food prices on the global market mainly due to a reduction in importation of capital equipment in 2012 by the major mining firms. These developments helped to reduce the trade deficit.

 

Our gross external reserves increased by 11.55 percent from US$376.79mn at end December 2011 to US$420.31mn at end December 2012, equivalent to 3 months of imports cover. The Bank continued to maintain a flexible exchange rate regime, with it's weekly foreign exchange auction which also complemented monetary policy. During the year 2012, the Leone remained stable; appreciating by 1.0 percent against the US Dollar compared to a depreciation of 4.28 percent in 2011, aided by large inflows mainly from mining related activities, foreign direct investments and remittances.

 

Distinguished guests, as mentioned by the Hon. Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech 2012, we are pleased to note that Government's fiscal operations strengthened during 2012, with improved performance in domestic revenue. However, Government borrowing and subsequent debt was still significant which put considerable pressure on interest rates on domestic securities.  We also welcome the commitment by the Honourable Minister of Finance to subject all projects and programmes to rigorous eligibility criteria in the proposed Public Investment Programme (PIP).  The country successfully completed the Fourth Review under the IMF supported Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme, for which we received Balance of Payments support of US$9.0 million. The fifth review is ongoing and will be concluded shortly. Permit me also to give you a summary of key developments in the financial sector in 2012:

 

= Total assets of the banking industry grew by 19.46 percent from Le2.98 trillion in 2011 to Le3.62 trillion in 2012, while preaudited industry profits increased by 20.65 percent from Le65.52 billion in 2011 to Le82.32 billion in 2012. All banks recorded  profits in 2012.

= Total number of bank accounts increased by 18.26 percent over the twelve months period from 513,503 in 2011 to 607,309 in 2012.

= Gross loans and advances  increased by 7.3 percent over the past twelve months. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of gross loans and advances declined  from 15.08 percent in 2011  to 14.74 percent in 2012, on account of  aggressive recovery efforts by some banks and cautious lending practices as a result of the introduction of the Credit Reference Bureau.

= All but one bank met the prescribed paid up capital requirement of Le24 billion for 2012 unimpaired by losses. The minimum requirement will be Le27 billion by end December 2013 and it remains amongst the lowest in the sub region.

 

We would also like to mention the implementation of the revised prudential guidelines, consistent with the Banking Act 2011, along with a new schedule of penalties which should guide commercial bank activities, to ensure compliance and maintain sound banking practices. There cannot be macroeconomic stability without financial stability. As we are all aware, the Global Financial Crisis for which the World is still struggling to recover from, emanated from the failure of US banks particularly in the mortgage subsector, to adhere strictly to regulations. The Financial Stability Board of the Bank for International Settlements has insisted that banks and other financial institutions globally must be properly regulated to avoid another financial crisis which may result in a double dip recession. The Bank will ensure that all commercial banks in the country comply with the existing prudential and regulatory guidelines. This is the way forward.

 

The Credit Reference Bureau to which commercial banks are obligated to refer prior to making loans, has been in operation for over a year and has had a remarkable impact, generating 3,231 credit reports.This has helped to minimize the number of multiple borrowers and reduce potential non performing loans. We are aware that the banking sector is a key channel for growth and development, which can only be guaranteed if the system is not only safe and sound but also perceived as being so by the users.

 

The key financial sector legislation passed in 2012 was the Anti Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)  Act 2012. This law amongst other things, criminalised money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. It also established the Financial Intelligence Unit as an independent body responsible for the monitoring and protecting the integrity of the financial system.

 

In the area of monitoring and supervision of commercial banks, the Bank has recently acquired the Electronic Financial Analysis and Surveillance System (EFASS) software with the assistance of a grant of US$2 million from International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). This software will significantly enhance our capacity for offsite supervision and in due course, it will be linked to the Credit Reference Bureau and the community banks.

 

"Inclusive Growth and Development: The Role of the Bank of Sierra Leone''

 

Why Inclusive Growth?

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Governments, development partners and non-governmental organizations alike have stressed the importance of "inclusive growth" as a desirable policy objective. Inclusive growth will help ensure political stability through the equal distribution of wealth to all sectors of society, while reducing the risks of uprisings which emanate from extreme disparities in the distribution of social facilities, wide income inequalities, and lack of opportunities for disadvantaged groups such as the disabled, youth and women.

 

In order to achieve inclusive growth and development, the emphasis should be on equal opportunity in terms of access to markets, resources, and an unbiased regulatory environment for businesses and individuals.It is important to ensure that growth takes place in the major sectors such as agriculture and mining, as these sectors employ the majority of the population and have the highest levels of poverty.Emphasis must be given to the rural areas in job creation, access to finance and provision of social infrastructure, while not ignoring the urban poor who may also be financially excluded. Generally, there is a need for raising the efficiency of investment and resource use across different sectors of the economy by addressing two basic supply-side issues namely:

 

(i) Effective credit delivery system to facilitate productive investments in employment creating sectors; and

(ii) Large scale investment in infrastructural facilities and social programmes such as health and education.

 

Distinguished guests, ensuring that the financial system plays it's role in promoting inclusive growth is one of the challenges facing developing countries.Access to a well-functioning financial system, enables economically and socially excluded people to integrate better into the economy. In developed countries, most of the population have access to  the banking system. However, in developing countries, a large proportion of the population, mainly the low-income group, have little access to either formal or semi formal financial services, and this group should be the main beneficiaries of inclusive growth.

 

Inclusive Growth and Development in Sierra Leone

Your Excellency, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you may recall that after the civil war, Sierra Leone recorded impressive economic growth rates.  Prior to the Global Financial and Economic Crisis, GDP grew by an average of 9.2 percent per annum during 2002 - 2008. In 2009, following the Global Financial Crisis, growth slowed to 3.2 percent on account of reduced demand for our exports, and lower investments and aid flows. 

 

The Agenda for Change which articulated our growth strategy for the past five years (2007 - 2012), outlined infrastructure and energy as the main pillars for achieving and maintaining growth and poverty reduction. While Sierra Leone's economy achieved a relatively high growth momentum during this period, unemployment and poverty levels still remain high, and to some extent the growth does not seem to be inclusive. Inclusive growth has since become a priority in the Agenda for Prosperity, our five year development plan (2013 - 2017). Huge investments in agriculture, education and health, rural infrastructure and social protection are key elements of the inclusive growth strategy in the Agenda for Prosperity. 

 

The Role of the Bank of Sierra Leone in Inclusive Growth and Development

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, for the economy to grow and for Sierra Leone to achieve middle income status consistent with the Agenda for Prosperity, the financial sector has a major role to play. In this context, the Bank of Sierra Leone helps to maintain a stable and predictable environment for Government and private sector planning and operations, which boosts economic growth and employment. The Bank's policies in the next twelve months for promoting inclusive growth falls under four main pillars:

 

=      Maintaining Macroeconomic stability

       Promoting International competitiveness

       Expanding Financial Inclusion

       Enhancing the efficiency of the financial sector

 

Maintaining Macroeconomic Stability

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the mandate of the Bank of Sierra Leone is to ensure price stability and create a sound macroeconomic environment. This is important because high rates of inflation hurt the poor while the rich can always draw from their savings to cushion the negative impact of high rates of inflation. Price stability would be achieved by maintaining tight monetary policy through the use of our monetary policy instruments, the prudent management of the exchange rate and curbing 'fiscal rascality' which has resulted in monetary expansion and increased domestic debt, which bordered on the unsustainable in recent years.  In addition, a reduction in government appetite to borrow will result in a decrease in interest rates on government securities, which will influence the general cost of borrowing, and make more loanable funds available to the private sector for productive activities. This will be further supported  by the introduction of medium to long term bonds which will assist government to raise funds for it's development programmes while reducing pressure on interest rates on short term instruments.

 

A stable exchange rate will be maintained with the expected increase in foreign inflows from mining, foreign direct investments and remittances, which will also assist in the building up of our external reserves.With comfortable levels of external reserves, the Bank will also be in a strong position to maintain its usual foreign exchange auction, which provide funds for the importation of socially sensitive goods.

 

To enhance monetary policy management, the Bank will continue to review and set the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to signal the Bank's monetary policy stance and anchor inflation expectations. The MPR will continue to guide open market operations through active repo operations complemented by the weekly foreign exchange auctions. These complementary instruments will enable the Bank to smooth out volatility of excess liquidity in the inter-bank market thereby moderating inflation.

 

Promoting International Competitiveness

The Bank will seek to maintain an appropriate value of the Leone against the currencies of our trading partners in order to ensure that our export commodites are competitive in the global markets. This will be achieved by safeguarding against severe currency appreciation and the advent of the " Dutch Disease", which has been the experience of many countries with resource revenues. The Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will establish a Transformation Development Fund to sterilise surplus revenues, finance implementation of capital projects and save for future generations, thereby mitigating some of the effects of the "resource curse".

 

The new Foreign Exchange Act will also clearly state the authority and responsibility of the Bank of Sierra Leone in regulating and licensing foreign exchange transactions, the conduct of foreign exchange business, enforcement and compliance issues, and other miscellaneous provisions. It will remove the apparent ambiguities in the interpretation of the Exchange Control Act, 1965 and other recent legislations.

 

Expanding Financial Inclusion

Last year, I spoke to you on the importance and potential benefits of financial inclusion.  In 2012, the Bank granted licenses to three (3) community banks in Boajibu, Tongo and Koindu, and IFAD established twelve (12) Financial Services Associations (FSAs), bringing the total number to thirteen (13) community banks and forty two (42) FSAs.We have also been in dialogue with IFAD to restructure the existing Community Banks and FSAs in order to improve their performance and outreach. Plans are also well advanced to develop  an apex institution, which will assist with first level supervision of  these institutions. Also in 2012, the Bank of Sierra Leone signed up to the MAYA declaration on financial inclusion in which the Bank committed to scale up the access to financial services within specified timeframes. In this regard, the Bank will continue to encourage mobile banking and particularly welcomes the efforts of Airtel Money and Splash in providing these services, and will in due course, develop a comprehensive regulatory framework for this sub sector.

 

The Bank will also work  closely with Government, NASSIT, insurance companies and the private sector to establish a specialized bank to provide medium to long term funds to particular sectors such as agriculture and agro industries. Another target beneficiary will be small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to secure commercial bank loans.

 

Enhancing the efficiency of the financial sector

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, over the past twelve months, the Bank has also been able to address critical areas relating to the efficiency of the financial sector by undertaking legal and regulatory reforms including the passage of the  Anti Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2012, the revised prudential guidelines, and the introduction of appropriate schedule of penalities, as prescribed by the Banking Act 2011. Banks must comply with the new prudential and regulatory guidelines as the Central Bank will not tolerate "financial lawlessness" because it would not only be harmful to the wider economy, but would also hamper the conduct of sound monetary policy.

 

Your Excellency, with the independence of the Bank of Sierra Leone as guaranteed by the Bank of Sierra Leone Act 2011, we will sanction severely any bank that fails to comply with the prudential and regulatory guidelines to send a positive signal to genuine and positive investors. Just a few days ago, the Swiss authorities closed eight commercial banks including the country's oldest bank for failing to comply with prudential and regulatory guidelines.

 

In the area of monitoring and supervision, the Bank will significantly increase the minimum capital requirements, in order to enhance the capacity of commercial banks to finance private sector activities, which is a necessary ingredient for growth.The effective operations of the Credit Reference Bureau will help to minimize the magnitude of non performing loans (NPLs) with the possibility of a reduction in the cost of borrowing. As I mentioned earlier, the EFASS software will enable the Bank to take preemptive action to forestall any potential distress in the banking system through better offsite monitoring.

 

To deepen the financial markets, the Bank will pursue the passage of the Securities and Exchange Bill and the Collective Investment Bill to enable more trading on the stock exchange, which will allow firms to raise additonal capital for business expansion and production. It will also provide a platform for citizens to invest funds for reasonable returns. We note the limited activity on the Stock Exchange and  therefore appeal to Government to assist in the development of the Stock Exchange by accelerating the privatization of state owned enterprises.

 

Furthermore, in a bid to enhance access to credit , the Bank is currently drafting the Borrowers and Lenders Act, which shall facilitate the setting up of a collateral registry , where lending institutions can register charges on moveable assets of borrowers, by way of security for loans. This legislation therefore will expand the types of collateral which may be used in secured transactions.

 

We are pleased to announce that the Payment Systems Project will go live hopefully in 2013. With this project, we expect the enhancement of non cash methods of payments and increased financial inclusion.Furthermore, the introduction of the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) and the National Switch will enable fast and instant settlement of transactions with no clearing lag and will enable users of ATM cards to access their funds from any machine regardless of whether they have accounts with that particular bank, giving wider access to cash delivery.

 

Challenges

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, to achieve these objectives there is urgent need for recapitalization of the Central Bank. The recapitalization will help the Bank to expand its outreach and better perform its core functions. With the spread of commercial banks and financial institutions countrywide, we will ensure that the Central Bank has a presence in all the strategic areas.In this regard, we have acquired a piece of land in the northern headquarter town of Makeni, where we intend to construct another branch, to support banks in the Northern Province and Kono, in an effort to promote  banking in previously unbanked areas. This will complement our current strides to rehabilitate the existing bank buildings in Freetown and Kenema.

 

Given these proposed developments, the Bank also requires additional technical assistance and training programmes to improve the skills of staff to enable them cope better with the new challenges which may arise with the financial sector expansion. In addition, there is need for a change of attitude of the workers in the financial sector to instill public confidence. We note with satisfaction that the introduction of the "Black Book" at the Bank of Sierra Leone, which keeps records of miscreants has helped reduce incidences of fraud in the banking system. The Bank will also focus on better corporate governance, and in this regard, we are appealing to shareholders and Board members of financial institutions to assist the Bank of Sierra Leone in providing more oversight to ensure that shareholders' and depositors' funds are protected.

 

Conclusion

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, the Bank of Sierra Leone under my leadership is fully committed to supporting the structural transformation of the economy. We will use monetary policy and other development functions to cement the Agenda for Prosperity with the following expected outcomes:

 

Stability in domestic and external value of the currency will result in low inflation and an appreciation of the Leone will lower the costs of goods. This will be beneficial to society as the ordinary man  will be able to purchase more goods with the same amount of  Leones.

Adequate external reserves is essential for intervention in the foreign exchange markets in order to protect the value of the domestic currency and provide foreign exchange, to avoid  shortages which lead to artificial price increases.

A strong financial sector will enhance public confidence in the banking system and allow banks to mobilise funds for investment and job creation.

Capital market development will provide the opportunity for individuals without entrepreneurial skills to invest and enjoy dividends through collective investment and other forms of mutual savings, especially with the passage of the Securities and Exchange Bill and the Collective Investment Scheme Bill.

 

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, I believe I have given you an insight into  the Bank's role in fostering inclusive growth and development, consistent with the Agenda for Prosperity. There is no doubt that with the robust policies, strategies, and programmes you have outlined for your second term as President, the economy of Sierra Leone would be strong, dynamic and knowledge-based.

 

Finally, let me take this opportunity to thank our numerous international, regional and sub regional partners who have supported us over the years. The Bank has received capacity building programmes, equipment, funding, and technical assistance, from:

 

The African Development Bank (AfDB);

The Association of African Central Banks (AACB);

The British Department for International Development (DFID);

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);

The European Union (EU);

The International Finance Corporation (IFC);

The International Monetary Fund (IMF);

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);

The West African Monetary Agency (WAMA);

The West African Monetary Institute (WAMI);

The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM); and

The World Bank

 

This list is by no means exhaustive.

 

We want to assure these organizations of our cooperation at all times and we know that with their continued support, we shall maintain the course despite the challenges that may unfold.

 

I am most grateful for the support and guidance of

= His Excellency, The President Dr. Ernest Bai-Koroma

= The Honourable, Vice President  Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana

= The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, his deputies and staff of the Ministry

= The Honourable Speaker of Parliament

= Honourable Members of Parliament

= The President of the Bankers' Association

 

I would like to extend my profound gratitude to the Board of Directors, the Deputy Governor, Management and Staff of the Bank for the guidance, support and cooperation throughout 2012. Let me also thank my family and friends for their prayers and best wishes, and the Fourth Estate for their coverage of the  Bank's  activities throughout 2012.

 

I wish you all good health and a prosperous and peaceful 2013.

 

I thank you for your attention. God bless.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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