Angola’s President, Joao Lourenco recently sacked Carlos Saturnino as chair of state energy firm, Sonangol. This is coming after the country, Africa’s second largest crude producer was hit by one of the worst fuel shortages ever.
Reuters reported that Sebastiao Gaspar Martins is expected to replace Saturnino as chair of the oil producer according to a statement from the president’s office.
Although the statement did not give a reason for the change, it comes a day after Lourenço promised a rapid resolution to the shortage of fuel that is plaguing the capital of Luanda and cities across the southern African country.
Also, the country despite producing around 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, relies on imports for 80 percent of its demand for refined products such as petrol and diesel. Apparently, Sonangol, Angola’s largest and most influential company, attributed the shortage on difficulties accessing hard currency as well as unpaid debts owed to the energy company by industrial clients.
In addition, the new chairman, Gaspar Martins who is an oil industry veteran who has worked at Sonangol for nearly 40 years and recently served on Sonangol’s board as an executive administrator.
Saturnino was appointed in November 2017, when Lourenço sacked Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of a former Angolan president who had previously led the state oil company.