Egypt to schedule remaining dues to foreign oil firms within a month: Madbouly

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read

The Egyptian government has established a plan to schedule the remaining outstanding payments owed to foreign oil companies within the next month, according to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

Speaking at a press conference in Cairo on Tuesday, Madbouly confirmed that the government has recently paid between 20% and 25% of the arrears.

A report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March estimated the total outstanding dues to foreign oil and gas exploration and production companies at approximately $4.5bn.

In March, Egypt made an initial payment of $1.5bn, which Bloomberg estimated to be roughly 20% of the total amount owed. This influx of capital coincided with a larger IMF loan approval, a development agreement with the UAE for the “Ras El-Hekma” area, and securing international financing from various institutions.

Madbouly emphasised the government’s commitment to controlling domestic and external debt.

He pointed to a decline in debt levels since the figures last reported in December 2023. The Prime Minister added that recent successful investment deals have further contributed to this decrease. The government also has a multi-year plan, extending from 2024 to 2026, outlining projected debt reduction rates.

Madbouly acknowledged that borrowing has been necessary to finance essential projects and imports such as wheat.

He stressed that the government’s infrastructure investments, including new roads, bridges, and modern transportation systems, are aimed at improving the lives of Egyptian citizens. These projects, he said, have demonstrably reduced travel times within Cairo.

The Prime Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to a clear and targeted plan for reducing both domestic and external debt ratios.

In his inaugural address to the newly formed cabinet, Madbouly underscored the importance of economic stabilisation and the outcomes of the National Dialogue.

He presented a detailed plan to tackle pressing challenges, emphasising the government’s commitment to improving citizens’ well-being.

Madbouly called for immediate action, directing ministers to focus on societal concerns and deliver tangible improvements in services.

Madbouly highlighted the importance of stabilising prices, curbing inflation, boosting investments, and increasing foreign currency reserves. He stressed the necessity of swift action and inter-ministerial collaboration to achieve these economic goals.

Acknowledging the critical importance of health and education, Madbouly announced the appointment of dedicated Deputy Prime Ministers to oversee these sectors. This move underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing human development and fostering a skilled workforce.

To ensure effective implementation and progress tracking, the Egyptian Prime Minister outlined plans for regular meetings with ministerial groups, led by either Deputy Prime Ministers or himself. These meetings will serve as platforms to discuss strategies, set clear objectives, and monitor progress.

Madbouly stressed the importance of close collaboration with governors to implement joint projects, especially those directly impacting citizens’ lives. This collaboration aims to ensure seamless coordination and efficient service delivery at the local level.

Building on the outcomes of the National Dialogue, Madbouly emphasised the need for ongoing engagement with the Board of Trustees. Specialised ministerial sessions will be held to translate recommendations into actionable programmes, in alignment with the President’s directives.

Recognising the importance of parliamentary oversight, Madbouly committed to regular attendance at parliamentary sessions. He also announced dedicated days for meetings with MPs and active participation in legislative discussions, ensuring the government’s work aligns with public aspirations.

The Egyptian Prime Minister highlighted the importance of proactive engagement with media outlets to address public concerns and provide transparent communication. Regular press conferences will be held to explain challenges, clarify decisions, address rumours, and provide updates on government initiatives.

Madbouly emphasised the need for prompt and effective responses to citizen complaints, both within ministries and through the government’s centralised complaint system. This commitment to responsiveness aims to foster trust and transparency in government operations.

Moreover, to demonstrate ministerial commitment to service delivery and project oversight, Madbouly encouraged regular field visits. These visits will provide opportunities to engage with citizens and ensure that projects are progressing as planned.

Recognising the potential of Egypt’s youth, Madbouly stressed the importance of fostering their role in leadership positions. By providing training and mentorship, the government aims to prepare the next generation of capable leaders.

To ensure effective governance and efficient service delivery, Madbouly emphasised the need for seamless coordination and collaboration among ministries on shared issues. This cross-ministerial cooperation will be crucial in addressing complex challenges and achieving common goals.

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