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Libya’s oil company suspends production after saboteurs attack facility

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Saboteurs attacked oil installations belonging to Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) on Sunday forcing the suspension of oil production from two major fields.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NOC in a statement issued in Tripoli on Sunday, said the company is forced to “declare the state of force majeure in line with standard practice in the oil industry”.

The illicit closure of crude pumping valves from the Al-Sharara and Al-Feel fields puts offline 330,000 barrels per day and leads to a daily loss to the public of more than 160 million Libyan dinars.

“We have been informed that a group of suspicious gangs led by Mohammed Al-Bashir Al-Garj shut down the pumping valves of crude thus making it impossible to fulfil our commitments regarding refined products in the oil market”.

The Chairman added: “Who benefits from these closures which come after the price jump that exceeded $100 per barrel? The same gang closed these valves between 2014 and 2016 which coincided with a similar price boom. Suspicious links and indications strongly suggest that the closures are driven by hidden hands aiming to drag the country into chaos.

Libya’s first productive oil well was struck in 1959 at Amal and Zelten, now known as Nasser. The country began exporting oil in 1961.

Oil sector’s infrastructure has been subjected to illegal attacks, including the disruption of production lines and the destruction of surface equipment in full view of all.

Apart from petroleum, Libya’s other natural resources are natural gas and gypsum. Its economy depends primarily on the oil sector, which represents about 69 per cent of export earnings. Moreover, the oil and gas sector accounts for about 60 per cent of total GDP. Substantial revenues from the energy sector, coupled with a small population, give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa.

The NOC also revealed that it has made an official report of the attack to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to take deterrent and targeted measures to identify the planners, executors and beneficiaries behind this criminal act of theft and sabotage”.

In a related context, the statement also said: “The challenge of closing was not the most difficult or dangerous for the stability of the oil sector and will end, God willing. But it is all the more painful for Libyans that the parties to sedition hampered production at the time of a global price boom. The next steps must be firm and governed by the criminal legal standard and must be criminally prosecuted by the public prosecutor”

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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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