Libya: Serraj appoints finance minister to unlock CBL-held funds
Head of UN-backed Presidential Council (PC) Faiez Serraj has appointed finance minister to help release life-saving funds help up by Central Bank of Libya (CBL) at odd with Libyan unity government.
Libya has been without financial minister since the inception of the unity government in December. Fakhr Muftah Bufernah aligned House of Representatives (HOR), initially named for the position has never taken up the position.
The PC has appointed Osama Saleh also aligned with HOR. Saleh’s appointment follows London meeting held last month in move to blow up hurdles existing between the PC and the CBL. Prime Minister Serraj accused the CBL for fostering economic and financial challenges as it refused to disburse cash.
The PC hopes with Saleh’s appointment the CBL will proceed to the release of 8.6 billion dinars ($6 billion) needed by the Council to overcome financial and economic hardship. The CBL during meeting also agreed to disburse 600 million dinars for the National Oil Corporation (NOC).
Saleh will be aided by Abubakr al-Jafal as deputy minister.
The PC birthed in December out of Libya Political Agreement signed in Morocco has been shouldered the responsibility to help rebuild the North African country and OPEC member. The task has been difficult to carry out as Serraj and his cabinet Government of National Accord (GNA) has faced resistance on the ground to impose itself.
Libyans are now facing lack of cash and repetitive power cuts rendering life in capital Tripoli and several other cities unbearable.
The PC also appointed Abdulbari Ali Shanbaru and Tarek Shoaib Bunasirah respectively as deputy local government minister and deputy foreign minister.
The new appointments will anger the east-based HoR which in August rejected Serraj’s cabinet line-up deemed too large.