BusinessLibya

CBL expects oil revenue decline to $20B in 2019

Governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Sadiq al-Kabir predicted that the country’s oil revenues will decline to about $20 billion in 2019, compared to $24 billion last year, a 17% decrease due to frequent closure of oilfields, mainly el-Sharara oilfield at the beginning of the year due to tribal protests.

Kabir told Bloomberg Thursday that the parallel al-Bayda-based CBL alone spent LYD 43 billion in recent years, explaining that such large expenses have negatively affected the Libyan economy and the consequences will be “severe.”

Former member of the Presidency Council, Fathi al-Majbari, presented an initiative to add the salaries of public sector workers in the interim government, estimated at LYD 4.5 billion in 2018, to the general budget, the CBL governor said.

Since July 25, the offensive by eastern-based forces to take control of Libya’s capital has thrown tentative economic reforms into doubt and revived liquidity problems, Kabir said.

He stressed that the CBL is acting in accordance to the Libyan Political Agreement, which makes the financial arrangements the responsibility of the Presidency Council and the Audit Bureau, denying any claims of inequality of spending the state revenues between the country’s two governments.

Since 2014, Libya has been split between competing governments and military alliances based in Tripoli and the east, a division that has been reflected in key institutions including the CBL and the National Oil Corporation.

However, receipts from oil sales, Libya’s main source of revenue, have continued to be processed by the CBL in Tripoli, home to the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord.

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