At a meeting at the ministry’s Tripoli headquarters yesterday, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, Mohamed Hwej, followed up on the fuel distribution mechanism.
The meeting included the Head of the Municipal Guard, Major General Rajab Gatusa, and in the presence of the head of the Privatisation and Investment Board (PIB), the Director of the Internal Trade Department in the Ministry, the Director of Operations Department of the Brega Oil Marketing Company and the Bakers Syndicate,
The meeting followed up on the procedures for implementing the decision of the Minister of Economy and Trade No. 407 of 2021 regarding adjusting the fuel distribution mechanism, especially in the southern regions. The attendees also suggested the establishment of fuel stations and vehicles for transporting fuel belonging to the Brega Oil Marketing Company.
Stressing the need for vehicles for transporting fuel to be equipped with a GPS tracking device and a meter that shows the amount of litres carried in the truck, and obligating the owners of fuel distribution stations to have electronic mailing addresses (GPS locations).
The process of importing gas cylinders was also discussed, stressing the minister’s need to conform to the specifications approved by the Brega Oil Marketing Company, as well as the possibility of allocating special stations to supply bakeries with fuel in the south.
GPS tracking proposed last April
It will be recalled that indeed the Ministry of Economy had first floated the idea of using GPS devices to track fuel trucks in April last year to combat the smuggling of Libya’s highly subsidised fuel. The high subsidies have meant fuel dispatched to regions, and particularly the south, is smuggled to neighbouring countries for sale at near international prices.
Failure of implementation
However, there has been no implementation of decision 407/2021 to install GPS tracking systems to track the movement of delivery trucks or metres to measure the amount of fuel each truck receives at the filling depot and delivers to the end user. Some are not convinced that the idea is workable in Libya.
Substitute subsidies with direct cash payments
Critics say that the best way to ensure Libya’s fuel is not smuggled is to replace the high subsidies with direct cash payments to citizens.
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