Protecting NOC is necessary for Libya to survive, National Oil Corporation Chairman Mustafa Sanalla told an international conference in London today. “NOC is the foundation from which Libya can be regenerated. And if NOC is lost, Libya will take a long time to be put back together.”
In a keynote address at the Middle East and North African Energy conference at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Sanalla stressed the role of Libyan communities. “[F]or NOC to operate and its oil to flow, its communities must be supported,” he said, calling on other countries to coordinate and integrate their efforts to fix Libya. “Supporting Libyan communities, helping them to find alternative livelihoods, will achieve far better, longer-term results than paying off armed groups.”
He said Libya faces three great challenges, all related: state capture, lack of economic justice, and lack of security. He called on the government and Central Bank to declare how oil revenues are spent, saying the current lack of transparency is a threat to the survival of the country. Much of the criminality in Libya, including smuggling and blockades of oil exports, is “the result of perceptions of unfairness, amplified by perceptions of corruption at the center, and an almost complete lack of transparency about the way the benefits of the state are distributed”.
“Our best guarantee of security is good community relations. And our best guarantee of good community relations is economic justice. And economic justice is only possible if there is transparency,” said Sanalla.
Sanalla acknowledged that feelings of economic discrimination were widespread, but had been exaggerated for political purposes and used to support blockades.
He said he was hopeful further blockades in the East would be avoided. “The Libyan National Army defined itself in September 2016. By allowing NOC to export oil through the ports it captured from the criminal Ibrahim Jadhran, the LNA showed it was an institution that believed in national unity and a national interest. I don’t believe the LNA and its leadership will now allow the tactics of Jadhran to be used under their supervision, especially because of their devastating economic effect.”
30 January 2018