Libya oil chief warns of “economic disaster” if oil ports closure continues

Libya oil chief warns of “economic disaster” if oil ports closure continues

July 10, 2018 - 10:41
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Written By: SafaAlharathy

Mustafa Sanallah

The Chairman of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) Mustafa Sanallah has held Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Council Fathi Al-Majbari and Finance Minister Osama Hammad responsible for the distribution of oil revenues.

"Al-Majbari is in charge of Libya's Financial Arrangements Committee, so he is responsible for every penny spent, so when he comes out and claims marginalisation, he is the one to blame," Sanallah explained in a video statement on Sunday.

He went on to say "Fathi Al-Majbari is from Ajdabiya and the Finance Minister Osama Hammad is from Zueitina," indicating that both of them come from the eastern region, which is always complaining of being marginalized.

"They should address the marginalisation by using their official position," he added, saying that no one is satisfied with the disbursement of the government's revenues.

"No schools were built, no roads were maintained, all honest citizens are frustrated, but does this justify the halt of oil production?” he asked.

Sanallah insisted that he was the first to raise his voice to demand a fair distribution of oil wealth, specifically on 26 July 2016 during a meeting with representatives of national oil companies, pointing out that everyone wants to see justice done, but this file must not be used politically.

He added that the NOC applies the principle of transparency by announcing oil prices and all bids via its website, noting that the transparency of the NOC alone is not enough because it is part of an integrated system and everyone must act transparently, including the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Libya.

Mustapha Sanallah called for the handover of oil terminals immediately and unconditionally to the legitimate oil corporation in Tripoli to avoid more losses, underlining that the closure of ports (by Khalifa Haftar groups) costs the state nearly $ 67 million per day.

He also warned of the dimensions of the crisis that will not just affect the production and export process but will also have its impact on the hydrocarbons sector as well as the salaries of state employees and others, insisting that the continuation of this situation in an economy that depends entirely on the export of oil will lead to a disaster in the near future.