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Libyan national oil company suspends production at largest oilfields over political rivalries

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Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC), has suspended operations at two of the country’s major oil sites, the Zouetina terminal and the al-Charara field, after shutting down several other facilities in connection with protests and political rivalries.

The closures which were announced on Tuesday, came at a time the Libya is struggling to leave the shadow of the Muammar Gaddafi’s regime which was overthrown in 2011.

The country’s parliament had in February, appointed Fathi Bachagha as the new head of government but he has not succeeded in ousting the current executive in Tripoli led by Abdelhamid Dbeibah, who refused to hand over power before elections were held.

In a statement, the NOC regretted “the beginning of a painful wave of closures of oil facilities coming at a time when oil and gas prices are soaring on international markets under the impact of the war in Ukraine.”

As at Tuesday afternoon, the NOC had been forced to close the al-Fil oil field, Zouetina terminal in the east, Mellitah terminal in the north-west, al-Sarrir, east and Al Khaleej also in the east, saying they were “forced to stop production completely and gradually.”

“Production “at the Abu Al-Tifl (east), al-Intissar (east), al-Nakhla (east) fields also ceased on Sunday, as did gas production at plants affiliated to these sites and at the port of Zouetina. A group of individuals forced their way in to force employees to stop operations,” the NOC said.

“In such a context, the NOC is forced to declare a state of force majeure on the oil port of Zouetina as well as on all the fields and factories associated with this port until further notice,” the NOC said.

The closure of Zouetina, one of the four oil terminals in the so-called “Oil Crescent” region (east), will deprive Libya of the export of nearly a quarter of its production.

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Nigeria wants $2.25 billion World Bank loan

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Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Wale Edun, has revealed that the country is seeking up to $2.25 billion in World Bank loans and expects the bank’s board to approve the request in June.

The move was announced in a statement following the International Monetary Fund/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C as the country also aims to issue diaspora bonds later this year to attract much-need foreign exchange into the country.

The World Bank loans would include $1.5 billion for development policy and $750 million for program-for-results, the statement said. It also said that the bank would meet in June to decide whether to approve the plan in its entirety.

The multilateral body is yet to comment on the revelation at press time.

Nigeria one of Africa’s biggest oil producers has struggled lately mainly over industrial-scale crude oil theft, and troubles getting foreign currency, which caused its naira currency to drop to all-time lows against the U.S. dollar. It has since recovered, though.

Already, the country is on record levels of debt, high unemployment, and large amounts of money from the central bank. However, Edun has insisted that the government had cut the money it borrowed from the central bank in half.

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Ghana’s finance minister anticipates debt restructuring MoU with lenders

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Ghana’s Finance Minister has announced that the country’s two main creditors will send him a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a restructuring deal in May, signifying a major progress in the country’s debt reform.

Once the MoU is signed, it will make public the deal that was made in January to restructure $5.4 billion in loans with its official creditors, such as China and France.

The restructuring is a big step toward Ghana getting rid of its debt as it works to get out of the worst economic crisis in a generation. It should also allow the country to get more money from its $3 billion IMF program.

Mohammed Amin Adam said he was sure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank would work together at the Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. In June, the Monetary Fund’s executive board will agree to review its staff-level deal.

From 2023 to 2028, Ghana’s national debt to gross domestic product level was supposed to go down by 15%. This guess says that the number will have gone down every year for six years, ending at 69.96% in 2028.

Ghana didn’t pay back most of its foreign loans in December 2022 because it became too expensive to do so. But now it needs to work out a deal with private holders of about $13 billion in foreign bonds. It has also changed most of its domestic debt.

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