Call to Angolans to repatriate cash

Angolan President Joao Lourenco. AFP
Angolan President Joao Lourenco. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

The Angolan government has given a 180 days ultimatum to all its nationals to repatriate their money from foreign accounts.

National Reserve Bank Governor José de Lima Massano said the ultimatum was already published in the official Gazette.

Mr Massano warned that the government would take unspecified actions against anyone defying the order.

He was addressing journalists on Wednesday after the Council of Ministers meeting in Luanda.

Commercial banks

Mr Massano last December confirmed that over $30 billion belonging to Angola was deposited abroad.

Half of the money, he explained, was deposited in commercial banks and financial institutions.

President João Lourenço last year advised Angolans with fortunes abroad to repatriate their money and invest at home.

He warned that he government would confiscate money from those defying the advice.

“Those who repatriate the money will not be interrogated on why they had it abroad,” President Lourenço said.

Sharp decline

“Let us not confuse the fight against corruption with persecution of rich people people in Angola,” he said.

Angola is sub-Saharan Africa's second leading oil producer with more than 1.6 million barrels per day, but majority of its citizens live in poverty.

The country’s economy has been severely affected by the sharp decline in oil prices and the government sees diversification as the way out.

Oil production continues to account for approximately 50 per cent of Angola’s GDP, 80 per cent of government revenue and 95 per cent of its exports.

Agriculture’s contribution to the GDP – including forestry and fisheries – stands at about 8 per cent in Angola.

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