Leading Libyan businessman Husni Bey told Libya Herald that the correct spending figure by the Libyan state in 2022 is LD 162 (US$ 32.4) billion and not the widely circulated figure of LD 127 billion.
The comment comes on the back of media and social media debate in Libya in reaction to the statistics released by the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) on 4 January of the government’s spending in 2022. Several critics said the statistics were inaccurate.
Bey said the LD 127 billion figure reported by the CBL did not include an amount of US$ 11 billion, equivalent to LD 55 billion represented in the three items below, which were not disbursed through the government’s accounts at the CBL, and therefore the CBL’s data issued on 4 January naturally did not reflect them. The CBL figures can only reflect what passes through them in revenues or outgoings, and cannot reflect barter trade, he emphasised.
- US$ 6 billion of crude oil in exchange for imported fuel by barter.
- US$ 3 billion represents the Mellitah Oil and Gas gas partnership with ENI, which is Libya’s share and was used to supply power stations.
- US$ 2 billion dollars, or the equivalent of LD 10 billion, in Akakus Oil Operations partnership with Repsol Oil, which was refined at the Zawia refinery.
Taking these amounts into consideration, Bey said the real total government spent in 2022 would be LD 162 billion, or the equivalent of US$ 32.4 billion.
Bey said using Libya’s average daily oil production figure of 1.2 million barrels during 2022 with the general average oil price of not less than US$ 90 dollars a barrel, we can calculate the following:
1.2 million barrels x 90 dollars a barrel x 365 days (of which 20 percent of the foreign partners’ share is deducted) gives us US$ 31.6 billion, or the equivalent in dinars of 158 billion.
In conclusion, Bey confirmed that in his view these numbers correspond to 98 percent accuracy.