By Sami Zaptia.
London, 13 October 2021:
Speaking at a reconciliation gathering of eastern notables and tribal leaders gathered in Tripoli Monday, Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, said that he is working on an initiative to hold a meeting between the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya Saddek El-Kaber and Deputy Governor Ali Hibri to find solutions and reopen the bank clearing system.
His statement came in response to a request by one of the gathered for the reopening of the bank clearance system which was causing huge inconvenience to those living in the east. They are forced to conduct transactions outside their region in cash.
The clearing system was closed during the Khalifa Hafter war on Tripoli. Eastern banks were accused by western Libya of directly or indirectly and maybe under duress of funding Hafter during the war.
Aldabaiba conceded that the issue is outside the scope of the government’s authority, but he said he seeks to settle it because it affects all Libyans.
He said the suspension of the clearing system was due to the debts that resulted from the overdraft in eastern region banks and the issuance of bonds without coverage from the Central Bank of Libya. He revealed that he had spoken with the Deputy Governor Ali Al-Hibri regarding the resulting public debt, which reached 50 billion dinars and then its value decreased to 45 billion dinars.
The head of government added that Governor El-Kaber assured him that if the exchange was stopped from outside state funds, it would be possible to settle an amount of 45 billion dinars, so that the amount would be considered a deficit on the banks in the eastern region, stressing that he pressured the Central Bank to cover this deficit and open the clearing system, and that a value equivalent to 10 to 15 billion dollars could be offset in the future from oil exports.