Libya's oil chief dismayed at excluding pay increase of workers from 2019 budget

Libya's oil chief dismayed at excluding pay increase of workers from 2019 budget

March 26, 2019 - 10:20
Posted in:
Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

The National Oil Corporation's (NOC) Board of Directors and Oil and Gas Workers Union have expressed disappointment at news published in various social media regarding the decision of the Presidential Council, Ministry of Finance, and Central Bank to exclude legally-required oil sector salary increases from the 2019 budget.

The NOC explained in a statement on Monday that it had included the 67%salary increase in its 2019 operating budget submission to the Presidential Council on December 05, 2018.

The NOC said that its Board has continually advocated for the pay increase since 2013 in both written and verbal representations to government – including on November 12, 2018, during the meeting of the Budget Committee chaired by the Deputy Minister of Finance, which discussed the proposed 2019 budget for the oil and gas sector, in addition to a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office on February 14, 2019, and a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Finance on March 14, 2019.

NOC thus called for the decision to omit due compensation for workers to be rectified forthwith with the pay increase to be included.

"The NOC chairman, Mustafa Sanallah, met with the President of the Union of Oil and Gas Workers, Mr Saad Dinar el Fakhri, on Sunday to discuss a roadmap that will help ensure the deserved pay-rise is approved in parity with other numerous recently adopted public sector pay increases, such as for education, healthcare, defence and the interior." The statement reads.

It adds that Sanallah urged employees to ensure that frustrations on this issue are expressed constructively and without harm to the public interest.

"The NOC Board stands in solidarity with staff and will not rest until they are afforded what is rightfully owed." The statement remarks.

The NOC Board, Sanallah added, understands the pressure on government finances and the need for a balanced budget.

"NOC staff, however, continue to support the national recovery more than any other, with their efforts resulting in a five-year annual revenue high in 2018." He added.

According to the NOC's statement, the Head of the Oil and Gas Workers Union reaffirmed that the increased compensation for the oil sector should be an undisputed right given worker sacrifices for the sake of Libyan oil production stabilization, the promotion of the Libyan economy and the national recovery.

The Presidential Council approved the 2019 budget worth over 46 billion dinars last Wednesday.