NOC-CBL Conflict: Sanallah Accuses Al-Kabir of Manipulating Exchange Rates – Al Marsad

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli has published a clarification on what it called “fallacies in the Central Bank’s statement in which it argued that the oil production data announced by the NOC are inaccurate.” This is the most recent chapter of the conflict of Libya state’s institutions, namely between the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) and the Presidential Council, and also between the NOC, the CBL and other entities.

(Libya, 23 November 2020) – The NOC argued that its statement was “in response to the statement of the CBL issued on 19/11/2020 in which the CBL claimed that NOC’s data has been inaccurate for many years, as it alleged.”

مركزي طرابلس: بيانات مؤسسة النفط بشأن الإيرادات غير دقيقة منذ سنوات وتتطلب التحقق والمراجعة

Mustafa Sanallah’s statement added, “All the CBL’s previous monthly statements clearly confirmed it had matched the figures with the NOC, which refutes the malicious claims of the CBL.”

Al-Marsad, translates here the remaining statement by the NOC in full:

“At the outset, we record our strong disapproval of the fallacies and deceit in the CBL’s statement issued on 19 November 2020, on revenues and spending from 01/01/2020 to 31/10/2020. The actual oil revenues during the said period deposited with the CBL amounted to USD (3.7) billion (LYD 5.2 billion) according to the official exchange rate, unlike the CBL’s statement.

Comparing the actual revenues during the period with the revenues estimated according to the financial arrangements of LYD (5.0) shows a surplus of LYD (200) million and not a deficit of LYD (2.6) billion as stated in the CBL’s statement. This may be due to the CBL’s not accounting for the January 2020 collections, which amounted to LYD (2.5) billion.

The NOC also reports that it is in the process of contracting a major international company to audit its financial and administrative systems.

In light of the foregoing, we reassure the Libyan people of the accuracy of the payment and collection systems. We confirm that all the revenues of the Libyan state, as well as the rights of foreign partners, are accurately documented and kept in the NOC’s accounts with the Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB). The revenues will not be transferred to the CBL’s account until it becomes transparent before the Libyan people as regards the mechanism of disbursing oil revenues during previous years and the parties that benefited from these revenues in foreign currency, which exceeded USD (186) billion over the past nine years.

It is noteworthy that the revenues retained in the NOC’s accounts at the LFB are ‘temporary’ until reaching a comprehensive political agreement that would enshrine a fair use of revenues between all cities and villages of Libya.

Moreover, the NOC reconfirms that it has adopted transparency and full disclosure of revenues for all the Libyan people on its website since January 2018 and has called on all Libyan financial institutions, specifically the CBL, to do the same to ensure the legal and rational use of the oil revenues. The NOC and its staff in the oil sector exert strenuous efforts to produce and stabilize such revenues. However, the intransigence of the CBL and the lack of commitment to transparency and disclosure of state expenditures have paved the way for oil closure whose masterminds used the CBL’s dark policies as excuses.

Instead of concentrating its efforts on addressing the challenges of the hike in dollar prices in the parallel market, stopping the drain of documentary credits at misleading exchange rates, solving the liquidity problem, and facing the increasing challenges in the banks of the eastern region, the CBL is trying to distract public opinion away from the main issues. It does so by claiming falsely, erroneously, and illogically there are errors in matching the numbers with the NOC after the latter has withheld the revenues and asked the CBL to disclose the expenditures of the past years.

Finally, we assure the Libyan people that we do not personalize issues by issuing this statement, but we assess the clear reality. Withholding revenues and the internal and international demand for the CBL to expedite the resolution of the basic issues of accurate disclosure and fair use of revenues have led the CBL to claim things it denied in its previous statements. This indicates a state of confusion on part of the CBL. We demand the CBL to rectify its malicious statement immediately. Otherwise, the NOC will refer the issue to the public prosecution.”

© Al-Marsad English (2020)

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