Ver Angola


Sonangol wants withdrawal of fuel subsidies but “not at any price”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sonangol said this Friday that the company feels the need to withdraw the fuel subsidy, but it is a decision of the State.


Gaspar Martins, who was speaking at a press conference alluding to the company's 47th anniversary, stressed that despite this need it is necessary to understand that this decision does not depend on just one company.

"It has a lot to do with what can be considered the right moment and while we do not find this right moment, we will continue to cooperate in the conditions we are in. If you ask us if we need it, we do", he said.

Gaspar Martins underlined that, in a situation where subsidies are withdrawn, the company will not have as much need to go to the market in search of additional capital.

The president of the state oil company underlined that when the subsidies are withdrawn, the company will feel "more relieved", also allowing the entry of other players in this market.

"Today Sonangol is the only entity that imports fuel", said Gaspar Martins, recalling that Pumangol and Total refused to enter this market "as long as the subsidies situation remains the same".

"It is likely that with the subsidies there will be a redistribution of the import capacity and probably other 'players' that can participate in this business, which, when withdrawn, turns out to be profitable", he highlighted.

"I repeat, we are partners with the state, we are not going to force this to happen at any cost only after we reach an agreement," he added.

In turn, the executive director of Sonangol, Baltazar Miguel, reinforced that the matter of subsidies has been dealt with annually with the Government and is now in the final stages of closing this process this year.

The withdrawal of fuel subsidies was one of the measures most advocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the last financial adjustment programme, worth more than five billion dollars.

Angola is the fourth country in the world where it is cheaper to fill a fuel tank. While in Europe – and in Portugal, in particular – motorists opt for utility vehicles and take fuel consumption into account at the time of purchase, in Angola, a country endowed with a car park where robust jeeps and 'pickups' abound, this does not seems to be a concern, since it is almost always cheaper to "drink" the car than quench thirst.

While the average price of 1.5 liters of bottled water is around 180 kwanzas, a liter of gasoline costs 160 kwanzas, that is, five times less than in Portugal, according to the Global Petrol Prices website, with data updated this month.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, the Government subsidized 339.7 billion kwanzas in fuel distributed across the country.


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