Libya: Tobruk Port Struggles with High Cargo Volumes

Tripoli, 4 July 2016:

Tobruk, the only fully-functioning eastern port is buckling under the sheer weight of cargo arriving on its docks its director has warned today.

Ghaith Thami has said that the port is running out of warehouse space as a wide range of cargos piles up awaiting truckers to take them away. The port’s difficulties are being made worse by unpaid salaries for dock workers. In order to get the goods they have ordered, Thami said that some businessmen were actually paying the dockers themselves.

With the exception of the non-unionised Khoms, no Libyan port has a particularly outstanding record in normal times. Tripoli has been notorious for the refusal of dock workers and truckers to handle more than one or two containers per shift.

Thami gave no figures for recent cargo ship movements into the port. He said however that  he had asked the town’s municipal council to provide extra storage space. The municipality was in turn pressing the Libyan Central Bank the provide the funds the pay salaries. He did not say if this was the Tripoli or Beida central bank.

It is also unclear what impact the port congestion is having on the local Customs department. But Thami warned that many of the goods stuck in warehouses had been ordered for Eid and entrepreneurs were desperate to have them delivered.

Benghazi and Derna ports remain too dangerous for ships to unload and truckers to carry offloaded cargo away.

LH 5.7.2016

 

Libya: NOC Agree to Unify – Offficial Press Release

Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the National Oil Corporation of Libya, and his counterpart appointed by the government in Bayda, Nagi el-Maghrabi, today agreed to unify the National Oil Corporation.

Mr Sanalla will continue as NOC chairman and Dr el-Maghrabi will join the NOC board.

“There is only one NOC, and it serves all Libyans,” said Mr Sanalla. “This agreement will send a very strong signal to the Libyan people and to the international community that the Presidency Council is able to deliver consensus and reconciliation. I’m sure it will now build on this success to bring unity and stability to other government institutions.”

“We made a strategic choice to put our divisions behind us and to unify and integrate NOC as directed by the House of Representatives and the Chairman and Members of the Presidency Council,” said Dr el-Maghrabi. “There is no other way forward. This is for the good of Libya.”

The agreement recognizes the Presidency Council as the highest executive authority in the country, and the House of Representatives as the highest legislative authority. NOC will submit periodic reports to committees established by both authorities.

In the agreement, NOC undertakes to ensure Libya’s oil wealth is for all Libyans and all Libyans must benefit from it without exception, in accordance with the guidance issued by the House of Representatives and its President.

The two sides jointly agreed a unified budget for the remainder of the current financial year, and took steps to address any imbalances resulting from the period of division.

The agreement makes infrastructure rehabilitation a priority, especially in the city of Benghazi in preparation for the relocation of NOC’s new headquarters. The parties expressed a strong desire that the NOC board should meet regularly in Benghazi in the interim if security conditions permit.

2 July 2016