Senior Manager Reveals Insight into Libya’s Infrastructure Sector

With Libya’s frozen assets being released by the week and its oil production and exportation increasing by the day, many international governments and companies are awaiting eagerly to hear ‘what, where and when’ Libya will start spending some of the US$ 100 million a day it is now earning.

It was therefore revealing to hear the insights of a senior manager at the Projects Department of Libya’s HIB (Housing and Infrastructure Board) a few days ago. There is only room to re-produce some of these insights here.

The HIB needs to ‘reassess projects and their needs and some contractors’. Many projects make ‘no-sense’ and were initiated by the whims of senior individuals of the past regime, the senior manager felt.

Regarding the effect of the nearly eight months of the February 17 popular uprising and ensuing war, he felt that there was a need for a ‘reassessment of the effect of, and interpretation of ‘force majeure. ‘We have never experienced it before! We have not yet discussed with any company the issue of compensation’, he confirmed.

Giving an insight into how the previous regime operated, the senior manager commented that ‘quickly’ was the by-word for the deposed regime. ‘Having slept for decades they wanted to catch up quickly, especially in the lead to the 40th anniversary’.

It was a case of ‘fast execution…but slow planning. Execution preceded planning’, he reported.

He confirmed the fact that the previous regime interfered in all matters of execution.

There was the ‘politicisation of the HIB’. The HIB ‘needs de-centralisation’, he felt.
Looking forward to the rest of the year he anticipated, ‘2012 should be about internal housekeeping. We need training and consultancy. We have to participate in the master plans. There are none now. We need new ones’.

And finally, but without mentioning any company by name, regarding companies that were executing large projects, he felt that ‘large projects should not be given to one company’.

International companies no doubt will be reading this piece closely to see its effect on their on-going projects. The senior manager said that good companies should be encouraged whilst bad companies should not.

The HIB seems to clearly need help in consultancy, training, assessment of current projects as well as in negotiations with regards to compensation and force majeure.

This is a clear call for good companies in these fields to come forward. As I write, already one major international company was meeting the senior manager to offer their services! Remember: first mover’s advantage, fortune favours the brave etc. Good luck!

(Source: Tripoli Post)

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