Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has through a presidential decree, appointed his daughter as new boss of SONANGOL, the state oil firm.
This was disclosed by Angola National State Radio (RNA) which reported on Thursday, that the move was part of efforts by the government to turn around the struggling company after low crude prices hit revenue.
Sonangol is the biggest source of state funding because oil sales account for more than 90 percent of Angola’s foreign exchange earnings. The president had earlier replaced the entire board of the oil firm with the aim of restructuring the company to “increase efficiency and profitability”.
Angola is Africa’s biggest oil exporter after overtaking Nigeria whose production has been hit by recent attacks in the Niger Delta region. National statistics however point to the fact that Angola imports around 6 million cubic metres of refined products a annually.
Sonangol had disclosed in February this year that debt owed to foreign oil companies had skyrocketed and it expected a very difficult year.
Angola, a member of OPEC, is currently Africa’s largest oil producer because of militant attacks and other problems that have cut output in Nigeria.
Dos Santos, who has been in power for close to 4 decades (since 1979) is one of Africa’s longest-serving. He announced in March, his decision to step down in 2018 but is yet to give a reason why and or to name a successor.