Bank of Sierra Leone Affirms ‘NLe’ as Abbreviation For New Leones

Tolulope Aina, Freetown, Sierra Leone. February 20, 2024.

The Bank Governor of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ibrahim Stevens has announced “NLe” as the official abbreviation for the country’s re-dominated currency.

This announcement comes after months of debate following the 2022 re-denomination of the Leone. While the currency itself continues to bear the abbreviation “Le.”, questions arose about how to represent the new, higher-value version. Both “NLe” and “Le” gained traction, leading to uncertainty. 

Speaking at the government’s press conference on Tuesday, Stevens declared “NLe” as the official abbreviation for local use, while acknowledging “SLE” as the international code for transactions outside the country.

Dr. Stevens clarified that the government intends to retain “Le” on the notes for historical purposes, emphasizing its cultural significance. However, to avoid confusion in international transactions, “SLE” will serve as the official code for international bodies and markets.

The introduction of “NLe” specifically for local use aims to distinguish the new currency from its predecessor and prevent ambiguity within the domestic financial system.

Dr. Ibrahim Stevens