Libyan Central Bank Governor Warns of Financial Collapse

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The Governor of Libya’s Central Bank, Sadiq Al-Kabir, has warned that the country faces “economic collapse”, if it does not increase oil production.

Al-Kabir said the economy faced a “bullet in the head”, due to the collapse in oil exports. He told lawmakers in Tripoli that earnings from oil exports had collapsed from $53 billion in 2012, to almost nothing in 2020.

He stated that Libya needs to produce 1.7 million barrels per day to compensate for current spending levels. The Central Bank’s Governor added that the country’s debt had reached 270% of Libya’s gross domestic product.

The Governor criticized the eastern-based Interim Government on Tuesday by claiming that 15 billion Libyan dinars were printed in Russia to prop-up the Tobruk-based government.

In September, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar announced the resumption of oil production and export, “as long as funds are not used to finance terrorism.” The National Oil Corporation (NOC) expects the oil fields to produce about 300,000 barrels per day this week. Notably, Libya’s daily oil production was more than 1.2 million barrels, before the January blockade was put in place.