Angola President’s Daughter Demands ‘Deep Diagnosis’ at Sonangol

  • Dos Santos announces transparency drive at state-run company
  • Oil producer will focus on fields already under development

Days after being appointed chairwoman of Angola’s Sonangol, Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the nation’s president and Africa’s richest woman, announced plans to shake up the state-run oil producer.

"Our goal is to increase the profitability of the company, increase efficiency and transparency” and implement international standards of corporate governance, Dos Santos said Monday in Luanda. “Our challenge in the first 100 days will be to continue carrying out a deep diagnosis" to see what measures can be taken quickly, she said. 

Angola became Africa’s top oil producer in April as Nigerian output shrank amid militant attacks. Nevertheless, economic growth has slowed as crude’s collapse eroded oil sales, which account for about two-thirds of state revenue. Dos Santos’s appointment follows her father’s dismissal of Sonangol’s entire board on Thursday, as well as reports of a $50 billion shortfall in the company’s accounts.

Dos Santos said she will talk to suppliers and partners -- which include Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and BP Plc -- to make operations "better, quicker and cheaper" and focus on oil fields already under development.

Angola’s Valor Economico reported Monday that the country will look into reports of discrepancies between funds received and invested by Sonangol resulting in a shortfall in its accounts. The newspaper cited unidentified people close to international consultants hired to restructure the company. Dos Santos declined to comment on Monday, saying she wasn’t familiar with the article or the source of the information.

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