President fires finance minister over economic slump

Angolan president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos
Angolan president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos

Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, has fired his country’s finance minister, Armando Manuel, following a slump in the country’s economic situation stemming from crashed crude oil prices.

The sack, which was announced yesterday, came two months after the Angolan government pulled out of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over emergency funding.

A statement quoted by Reuters said Manuel, who was appointed in 2013 and whose term had been due to run to 2017, would be replaced by the country’s capital markets commission head , Archer Mangueira.

Over the last two years, Manuel had presided over an economic slump caused by a sharp drop in oil prices that sapped dollar inflows, hammered the the Angolan currency, Kwanza  and led to heavy government borrowing.

The kwanza slid more than 30 percent against the dollar in 2015, and in January Angolan Central bank allowed for another 15 percent, weakening to 155 against the Dollar.

Like Angola, Nigeria has also been hit by the plunge in crude oil prices and a rapid depreciation of the local currency. Nigeria has seen a depreciation of over 40 percent on the naira against the dollar in 2016.

Angola’s inflation had soared from 11 percent in August 2015 to 35 percent in July 2016, while Nigeria’s is from 9.3 to 17.1 percent within the same period.

Senator Dino Melaye recently called for the removal of finance minister, Kemi Adeosun over what he described as the minister’s “gross incompetence”.

“The finance minister has not only displayed gross incompetence on the job, she also lacks the basic and rudimentary grasp of economic fundamentals necessary to run a critical sector of the Nigerian economy like the finance ministry,” he had said.

“It is time for her to go now and pave way for a qualified and experienced person to steer the Nigerian economy away from the dark woods it has sunk presently under her stewardship.”

Like the Nigerian president, dos Santos is getting unpopular by the day due to the economic hardship caused by the fall in oil prices.


Comments are closed.