Brazzaville — The Republic of the Congo plans to replace the board of directors and appoint an audit committee at state oil company SNPC, as it strives to improve accountability and convince international lenders to bail out the country. SNPC, which holds equity in fields operated by Italy’s ENI and France’s Total, has been dogged by allegations of corruption and mismanagement. The government on Wednesday criticised the "dysfunction" of the set-up. The reform plans come as the government negotiates with the IMF for a bail-out. A steep drop in revenue due to low crude prices means that public or publicly guaranteed debt has ballooned to 110% of GDP, according to the IMF. Credit ratings agencies judge Congo to be at risk of default on its eurobond because of its debt troubles, which have been exacerbated by a $1bn legal dispute in a US court. This is despite increased oil production, boosted by new oilfields. Congo expects to raise output 25% to 350,000 barrels per day in 2018 to beco...

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