The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI- Chairman of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation, Mustafa Sanalla, denounced in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde the “cancer” of the “criminal groups” which divert to their profit the hydrocarbons revenues.
Sanalla stated that the priority must be to establish the transparency of the system. “We need to know where the oil money is going and on what basis decisions are made. Those who decide, politicians, must be accountable to the people. As long as there is no transparency, politicians will not be held accountable.”
Sanalla said that what happens in the Palermo conference on Libya does not matter because “oil must stop being a political map.”
When asked about decision of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord to lift subsidies on Libya’s oil, Sanalla said, “I do not see any measures taken. State subsidies continue. These subsidies do not benefit the poorest of Libyans. They actually benefit the warlords who organize the smuggling of subsidized oil.”
He added, “The hundreds of millions of dollars that the state spends on subsidies actually enrich criminals who strive to defeat the political process. Because their juicy business can flourish only in an environment devoid of rule of law. It’s like a cancer that gets worse every day: these criminals are recruiting young people to continue the war.”
In response to criticisms of regional imbalance in the redistribution of oil revenues, Sanalla stated, “some parts of the country are complaining about not receiving their “fair share” of oil revenues. On the other hand, those who control this wealth object that they redistribute it equitably. Neither party, however, provides much evidence to support its position.”
Commenting on the rebound of oil production to 1.3 million barrels a day, Sanalla said that this rebound was the result of the expulsion of Ibrahim Jadhran, the militia leader whom was defeated by the Libyan National Army in September 2016 following his attempts to block oil terminals of the Petroleum Crescent zone.