Angola denies $32 billion missing in state funds
18 January 2012, 14:34
Lisbon - Angola's
government has denied a report by Human Rights Watch suggesting that $32
billion are missing from state funds thought to be linked to the state
oil company Sonangol, state news agency Angop reported on Tuesday.
The New York-based watchdog on December 20 urged the government
to account for missing funds spent or transferred from 2007 through
2010, citing an International Monetary Fund report revealing that funds
were not properly documented in the budget.
Angop cited a statement from the government saying it denies the funds are missing.
Angola is Africa's second-largest oil producer after Nigeria.
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos' government has long been accused of
mismanaging oil revenues and doing too little to fight graft in a
country in which an estimated two-thirds of a population of 18 million
live on less than $2 per day.
Angop said that the government admitted there was a discrepancy
in accounts but believed this was a result of insufficient records.
Oil revenues represent over 95 percent of the country's export income and around 45 percent of gross domestic product.
Human Rights Watch said in its December report that the missing
funds raised serious questions about the government's efforts to
The rights group on Monday published on its website a letter it
sent to Angola's Finance Minister Carlos Alberto Lopes urging the
administration to account for the funds.
Angop said the government had started a full clarification of the
discrepancy with the IMF. A working group had been set up to present
fiscal, monetary, foreign exchange and balance of payments statistics in
coordination with the fund, it said.
"The government laments the sensationalism with which this matter
was approached by some news organisations," Angop quoted the government
as saying in the statement.
"The speculation and accusations of an alleged disappearance of
missing funds are part of habitual campaigns from some sectors in their
desperate attempt to discredit Angola's leaders and institutions."
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