Siddik Al-Kabir: Suspension of Banking System in Benghazi CBL is a Precaution – Al Marsad

In a statement yesterday, Thursday, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) responded to the statement issued by the President of the Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj, claiming Sarraj had published his statement on the official page of his media office in a unilateral move. The CBL stressed it had provided the necessary funds to the Ministry of Health to face the coronavirus pandemic and has been processing all financial requests received in this regard.

[Libya, 3 April 2020] – The CBL called for keeping it away from any political polarization, being a sovereign regulated institution subject to the legislative authority that operates professionally and independently according to the provisions of the political agreement.

It emphasized that it called since 2015 for the unification of the institution after a comprehensive audit of the CBL operations and the so-called ‘parallel bank’ was carried out because it believes in the citizen’s right to know the truth and dispel confusion in line with the principles of transparency, responsibility, and accountability.

The CBL statement indicated its commitment to the UN Security Council’s resolution to audit the CBL and the “parallel bank” as a basis for consolidating the institution.

“The CBL provided the necessary support, as per its competencies, to the Ministry of Health to confront the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It processes all financial claims received in this regard,” added the statement.

“The CBL processed the salaries of January, February, and March immediately after the approval of the financial arrangements on 16 March, which the CBL had requested its preparation since September 2019 for approval by the end of 2019 as per the State’s Financial Law and the political agreement.”

“The failure of the Presidential Council to take the necessary measures to re-produce and export oil, which is the only source of income, negatively affected all State institutions. This is the main cause of the economic and financial crisis, which has exacerbated the living situation in the country.”

It also pointed out that the suspension of the banking system in the Benghazi branch was a precaution due to the Deputy Governor’s piracy of some bank accounts of public entities outside the framework of the law.

The CBL pointed out that the temporary suspension of the sale of foreign exchange complied with the state of extreme necessity resulting from the stoppage of oil production and export, and to ensure the financial sustainability of the State in light of an exaggerated demand for foreign exchange for speculative and profitable purposes. “The CBL was in the process of resuming foreign exchange sale immediately following the Presidential Council’s decision to adjust the fee on foreign exchange sales, according to the agreement made in this connection.”

“During 2014, 2015, and 2016, the CBL adopted a package of measures to confront the repercussions of the crisis of stopping oil production and exporting at that time, which contributed to achieving the financial sustainability of the country.”

“The CBL, sensing the state of necessity and the exceptional circumstances experienced by the Libyan State and the world at large, and taking into account the public interest, calls on all State institutions to unite efforts to face up to the threats and increasing challenges.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)