Social and economic solutions key to Libya's future, says Sanalla at Chatham House

The Chairman of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), Eng. Mustafa Sanalla, highlighted the importance of economic and social reform in Libya for any future political solution to succeed, in a speech in London at Chatham House on Tuesday, January 29. According to the NOC chairman: “Political reform cannot succeed without meaningful economic reform. Subsidies must be replaced by direct payments, and economic opportunities that don’t involve organized crime and corruption.”
Speaking of the situation in the South, the chairman highlighted the extent of the humanitarian problem: “The South needs effective government. This is where the international community can play a constructive role -- building the Libyan government’s capacity to administer the South through impactful economic and social programmes.”
The chairman has also discussed the situation at the Sharara oil field, under a state of force majeure since December 9, 2018. “We cannot countenance the use of violence against our employees. With some reluctance we have concluded that the preferred solution is a professional PFG force managed by NOC,” said Sanalla. “A mixed force might provide a solution within a negotiated security framework. With a robust security framework in place, managed by NOC, Libya will be a much more reliable supplier to the global market and a much more attractive destination for oil and gas investment.”
Sanalla also stressed the importance of adherence to the rule of law in Libya and maintenance of United Nations Security Council resolutions. “To maintain this recovery, the integrity of the Libyan oil and gas sector and NOC’s indivisible and unifying role as the sole steward of Libya’s national resources must be preserved.”
The chairman also reaffirmed NOC’s neutrality and the importance of the corporation being protected from all conflict in the country. “NOC must remain independent and removed from all political or military bargaining. Efforts to politicise our work are not in the interest of the Libyan people. NOC has a national mission to build trust between groups inside and outside Libya,” he concluded.
 
29 January 2019
London