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Redenomination - Legal Basis
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Section 4(1) holds that the “Bank shall be autonomous and accountable in the performance of its functions under this Act.”
To emphasize the autonomy of the Bank from all influences other than the professional judgment of its Board and staff members, Section 4(2) holds that “the Board and staff members shall not take instructions from any person or body.”
With respect to the management of the country’s currency, Section 5(1)(a) mandates the Bank “to issue and manage the currency of Sierra Leone.”
With regard to the right to issue the currency of Sierra Leone, Section 27(1) holds that  “the sole right of issuing banknotes and coins in Sierra Leone and no other person or institution, Government or private, shall issue banknotes and coins without the express authorization of the Bank.”
More specifically, the sole right to determine the “denominations, composition, form and design” of banknotes and coins issued in Sierra Leone is, per Section 27(3), vested in only the Bank-subject to the “approval of the Board and consultation with the Minister (of Finance).
Meanwhile, Section 27(4) mandates the Bank to “by statutory instrument determine the characteristics of banknotes and coins issued by the Bank, including security, and other features of the banknotes.
Pursuant to Section 27(4), the Regulatory Statutory Instrument No. 14 of 2021, titled “Redenomination of the Leone (Characteristics) Regulations, 2021, was laid in Parliament on 17th November, 2021.
Section 30(2) gives the Bank the authority to, “on giving three months notice in the Gazette and one newspaper of general circulation in Sierra Leone, call in any of its banknotes and coins, on payment of the face value of the banknotes and coins with respect to which a notice has been given”. Thereafter, all notes and coins  recalled shall cease to be legal tender on the date specified in the notice.
Finally, Section 30(3) holds that the Bank “may, by notice published in the Gazette and one newspaper of general circulation in Sierra Leone, specify a period during which banknotes and coins which have ceased to be legal tender may, nevertheless, be exchanged by the Bank.”
The highlighted sections of the Act are clear that:
The Bank is autonomous in the conduct of the monetary policy of Sierra Leone.
Only the Bank has the legal authority to issue the currency of Sierra Leone.
The Bank may recall any notes and coins in circulation and, after the period specified in a public notice in a Gazette and one widely circulated newspaper, refuse to exchange any notes and coins it has called-in.
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