There was panic in the banking sector yesterday, when a piece of fake news was posted on several social media platforms, claiming that the dynamic and reformist Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Idrissa Alooma Kamara had been sacked.
Some key players in the banking industry started asking one simple question: Why would anyone want the prudent Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank sacked?
Idrissa Alooma Kamara is credited with the ongoing dynamic transformation of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank from a loss-making to a profit-making bank. He took over as the substantive Managing Director of the bank in September 2017. At that time, the bank was beset by an avalanche of crises and was facing financial difficulties.
Two years ago, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank was at the brink of collapse. Since the appointment of Idrissa Alooma Kamara as Managing Director in September 2017, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank has and continues to undergo a positive transformation. The bank is now out of the proverbial woods.
In 2017, the bank made a pre-tax profit of Le79 Billion (Seventy nine Billion Leones). This is the highest ever profit margin made by a commercial bank operating in Sierra Leone. The target for 2018 is Le110 Billion (One hundred and ten Billion Leones) pre-tax profit. As of yesterday, the bank has registered a pre-tax profit of Le51 Billion (Fifty One Billion Leones).
When Mr. Kamara took over the bank, he embarked on a complete overhaul of its ICT infrastructure. The vision of Mr. Kamara is to transform the bank into a fully digitalized or electronic bank, the first of its kind in Sierra Leone.
The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank has the potential to grow to higher heights provided it continues to be managed professionally. The bank has a total assets base valued at Le1.2 Trillion (One Trillion and two Billion Leones), with a customer deposit base of Le1.3 Trillion (One Trillion and three Billion Leones). The running of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank should not be allowed to be politicized. As a national asset, it must be allowed to be professionally run by battle tested leaders devoid of politics.
The current government should not allow the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank to go back to those difficult days when the credibility of the bank was made to erode and customer confidence in the bank’s operations undermined.
Idrissa Alloma Kamara has been in the banking profession for the past thirty years. He joined the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank as a Supervisor in 1996 and rose through the ranks to become Managing Director in September 2017. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Finance expert having acquired all the qualifications needed to effectively and professionally manage a bank. He is FCCA and MBA (Finance) from the University of Leicester. He is an expert banker in his own rights.
Let us avoid spreading fake news about the banking sector. It will undermine investor confidence in the banking sector in Sierra Leone.
Let us leave Idrissa Alooma Kamara in peace so that he can continue to provide the needed leadership to transform Sierra Leone’s premier bank and make it very much competitive.
Let us not allow Sierra Leone’s iconic Commercial Bank to collapse like a pack of cards or reach the point where nobody would want to do business with the nation’s only commercial bank. The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank is one hundred percent owned by the Government and People of Sierra Leone.