By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 29 April 2017:
Mohamed Raied, the owner of Libya’s main yoghurt and laban producer Al-Naseem, said today his company will close within two weeks, potentially one, because the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) has not issued the firm any letters of credit (L/C) for seven months.
He criticised the CBL for not releasing any L/Cs and warned Al-Naseem would not be able to meet demand during Ramadan.
“We are angry at the CBL”, Raied told the Libya Herald “We sent them a lot of messages. This is very bad for Al-Naseem.”
“We bought all these raw materials for no reason. They are left lying in a warehouse,” he added.
Raied, who is also a House of Representatives member for Misrata said the CBL had promised they would release credits for his company but had not yet done so.
“I hope they will give us some help. We need the L/Cs before Ramadan,” he said.
Seven weeks ago Raied warned Al-Naseem’s stocks were so depleted it would close within three months, potentially two, if the situation continued. Normally the firm holds sufficient stock including milk power, packaging and other essentials for six months’ production.
His company, based in Misrata, has been unable to obtain L/Cs since September he said.
With around 1,000 employees, Al-Naseem can produce up to two million cups of yoghurt and 300,000 litres of laban daily, both part of Libyans’ staple diet.
Were Al-Naseem to cease production it would have a huge impact on the daily lives of Libyans. Its deliveries have managed to reach almost all corners of Libya and the company also has a factory in Tunis.