By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 26 July:
This week’s official government press conference held yesterday, Wednesday 25 July, and conducted by official spokesperson Nasser . . .[restrict]Al-Mana, was shifted to a 2 p.m. time slot on account of it being a more convenient time in the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
The press conference which started three-quarters of an hour late was dominated by the presence of Finance Minister Hassan Zaglam and the issue of the payments to the thuwar (brigadesmen) and the budget.
Other topics included the handover from the outgoing NTC to the newly-elected National Congress, the change of government, the possible handover of Abdullah Senusi, improved electricity supply and public monitoring and competition in the internet provision sector.
With the imminent dissolution of the NTC and replacement of the present government of Abdurrahim Al-Kib, the press conference was possibly one of the last for official spokesperson Nasser Al-Mana – at least on behalf of the Al-Kib government.
Ministry of Oil
Al-Mana confirmed that Libya’s oil production was still at 1.5 million barrels per day.
Electricity supply improved
The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy announced that this week further high voltage lines had been linked between Ajdabiya and Brega which has resulted in improved supply of electricity between the east and west of Libya, enabling excess electricity generation in the east to be transferred to the higher consuming western region.
The Ministry also announced that connections in the Kufra area have also been resumed and therefore the area was now receiving normal electricity supplies.
The official spokesperson also highlighted the introduction by the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy this week of a new TV indicator appearing on at least two Libyan channels. This dial is a live indicator from the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy showing the actual electricity consumption in Libya at the time as well as generation.
For more on this story see: http://www.libyaherald.com/electricity-supply-improved-public-consumption-awareness-campaign-initiated/
Ministry of Communications signs MOU with Tunisia
The Ministry of Telecommunications and Informatics had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with its counterpart in Tunisia with regards to mail services, training and the exchange of knowhow.
Extension of closing date for city cleaning tender until 15 August
The official spokesperson announced that the closing date for the city cleaning (integrated solid waste management project) tender has been extended until 15 August so as to allow more local and international companies the opportunity to bid for the tender.
See Libya Herald for the full tender announcement: http://www.libyaherald.com/integrated-solid-waste-management-project/
Ministry of Health activates 68 contracts
The Ministry of Health has activated a total of 68 contracts – 39 involving local companies and 29 with foreign ones – at a total value of LD 196 million. They cover various works on clinics, polyclinics and hospitals.
All contracts under LD 1million activated
The official spokesperson confirmed that all 550 contracts of a value of LD 1 million or less had been activated. Some of these projects had started and most them were projects in housing, infrastructure and utilities.
Bayda’s Labrak airport designated as an international airport
As a further decentralisation measure, the Ministry of Transport has designated Bayda’s Labrak airport as an international airport. The government has instructed all the relevant departments such as the passports authority, the health ministry, the customs authority and the security departments to take all the appropriate measures in accordance with this decision.
Labrak airport was one of the first Libyan airports to be ‘liberated’ from the previous regime during the revolution and it serves Bayda, Derna and the surrounding areas.
Five fire engines purchased for airports
Five fire engines were purchased on an urgent basis and through a direct purchase process by the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority for various airports. They were acquired from a Spanish company. The spokesperson neither named the Spanish company nor gave the value of the purchase. Media sources put the contract at LD 2.9 million.
Renovation of Civil Aviation Authority
The government has authorised the Civil Aviation Authority to undertake a LD17-million contract with a French consultancy company for the its own renovation and rehabilitation. The company was not named.
Payments to thuwar will resume after completion of database – Minister of Finance – Hassan Zaglam
The Minister of Finance, Hassan Zaglam, revealed at the official press conference that the suspension of the one-off payments of grants stipulated by the National Transitional Council (NTC) in February this year to the thuwar (brigadesmen) will continue until the database of claimants could be completed in an accurate manner.
The authorities had suspended payments when it was realized that more so-called thuwar had registered to receive the grants than had been anticipated or calculated. It became obvious that there was massive fraud in the registration of names for the grants.
For more on this topic see: http://www.libyaherald.com/payments-to-thuwar-will-resume-after-completion-of-database-minister-of-finance-hassan-zaglam/
Investigations on-going into abduction of Olympic committee head
With regards to the mysterious circumstances in which Nabil Elalem, the president of Libya’s Olympic committee, was abducted and freed after a week, the official spokesperson had no further details except to say that investigations were ongoing.
For more on this story see: http://www.libyaherald.com/libya-olympic-chief-freed-after-week-in-captivity/
Ministry of Economy to monitor prices and quality of goods
The holy fasting month of Ramadan is always know for the sudden spike in food prices. The Ministry of Economy announced that it had created a multi-departmental committee to monitor the quality and prices of goods in the marketplace, and especially food products.
Finance Minister Zaglam says there will be no budget deficit in 2012
The Finance Minister, Hassan Zaglam, responding to questions from the members of the press at the official press conference explained that he expected that there will be no deficit in the government’s 2012 LD 68.5 billion budget – contrary to what had been anticipated at the time of the budget’s announcement.
For more on this story see: www.libyaherald.com/there-will-be-no-budget-deficit-in-2012-libya-not-secure-enough-for-foreigners-finance-minister-zaglam/
For archive stories on Libya’s budget see:
Rumours about Abdallah Senusi are untrue
Spokesperson Al-Mana denied any truth to the persistent rumours that wanted fugitive Abdallah Senussi was being held either in Tripoli or the south of the country or that a Libyan plane was sitting in the Mauritanian capital waiting his release and transportion to Libya.
He did confirm that negotiations at the highest levels were ongoing and that there were positive signs. He promised that if there was anything new on the subject that the public would be informed immediately.
The handover to the newly elected General National Congress
Asked by Libya Herald about the transparent handover process by the NTC and the Al-Kib government to the newly elected General National Congress, spokesperson Al-Mana said that there were already committees working on the process.
Finance Minister Hassan Ziglam expected that there would be an official hanover process at his ministry as had been the case when he took over from his predecessor, Ali Tarhuni.
Neither were prepared to suggest a date for the handover, although it is widely reported that it will be on 6 August. [/restrict]