LUANDA – The head of Angola’s state oil company Sonangol has fired the executive committee of subsidiary Sonangol Exploration and Production, the company said on Tuesday.
Sonangol’s chief executive Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has told the Financial Times she plans to split the company into three units.
Dos Santos has said she wants to improve transparency at Sonangol, long been regarded as one of the most opaque institutions in Africa.
Sonangol cited “management weakness” and financial concerns for the dismissals.
“This decision is in line with the stance of the new Board of Directors of the oil company to be consistent with the principles of rigour and transparency,” its statement said.
Sonangol Exploration and Production is also involved in prospecting.
The Financial Times quoted Dos Santos as saying Sonangol would be divided into three units: exploration and production, logistics and a division that handles its concessions to international oil companies. Non-oil interests will be placed in a fund.
Angola, a member of OPEC and currently Africa’s top oil producer and third largest economy, has been hit hard by the slump in global crude prices. Oil export revenues account for more than 90 percent of its foreign exchange revenues, which critics say have been squandered and siphoned for decades.