New currency controls enforced by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) could ruin the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Guinea. Equatorial Guinea, a small West African member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, derives more than 90% of its foreign revenues from its oil and gas industry. The BEAC rules introduced in June are aimed at bringing order to a monetary bloc awash with petrodollars which, owing to lax controls, often end up in offshore bank accounts after bypassing local economies completely. Businesses say the restrictions are causing dire currency shortages and delaying transactions. The minister, Gabriel Obiang Lima, said they were jeopardizing investments by multinational energy companies in Equatorial Guinea’s oilfields.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA