Libya’s Central Bank chief warns of collapse after oil blockade losses

Governor of Central Bank of Libya.

The halt of Libya’s oil production and exportation amid the civil war could cause the country’s economic collapse, the governor of the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya warned on Tuesday.

Al-Saddiq al-Kabir told Tripoli’s parliament that shutdown of the country’s oil production and exportation since 2013 has cost Libya some $180 billion in losses, which he called “a bullet in the head” to the country’s economy.

Al-Kabir said Libya needs to produce 1.7 million barrels per day to compensate for current spending levels.

He also said the country’s debt had reached 270% of gross domestic product, Hifter’s blockade has cost Libya at least $9 billion in revenue, the Tripoli-based Central Bank said last month.

The country is currently producing roughly 120,000 barrels per day, compared to more than a million before the blockade began in January.

Al-Kabir criticized the eastern Libyan movement on Tuesday, saying 15 billion Libyan dinars printed in Russia have propped up the Tobruk-based government.

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