Jamila Shuarah, current permanent secretary, petroleum resources ministry is likely to take over from Diezani Alison-Madueke as the leader of Nigeria’s delegation and president of 167th Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries on June 5
By Maureen Chigbo – April 20, [email protected]/
Jamila Shaurah, permanent secretary, petroleum resources ministry may lead the Nigerian delegation to the June 5 meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC. This realisation has out paid to speculations that some members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, who will attend the OPEC, 167th meeting in Vienna, Austria, are lobbying for Deizani Alison-Madueke, petroleum minister to be retained in office so that Nigeria will not lose its presidency of the oil body. Different officials from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, who wish anonymity, told Realnews authoritatively that no such lobby is going on.
In fact, Realnews reports that Nigeria as a country will not lose anything at the OPEC if the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan is dissolved ahead of the May 29 handover date. This is because the presidency of OPEC is not a personal matter but rather rotated among the countries that formed OPEC unless the country whose turn it is to take the presidency turns it down. Presidency of OPEC is a statutory provision for member countries not the individual who occupies the offices in particular. That means that anybody appointed by the government to lead the Nigerian delegation to the OPEC meeting will take over from Alison-Madueke stopped.
Realnews gathered that even if the new government fails to form a cabinet before the forthcoming June 5, meeting of OPEC, it could appoint somebody to represent the government and the person so appointed as the head of the Nigerian delegation will preside over the OPEC as the president of OPEC from Nigeria. If the government did not appoint anybody, the second option is for Nigeria’s governor at the OPEC who right now is the permanent secretary of petroleum resources to preside over the meeting as the president of OPEC on behalf of the country.
Should this be the case, it now means that Alison-Madueke, who is the first female minister at OPEC and first female President of OPEC, will be handing over to another female, Shuarah, permanent secretary of the petroleum ministry, who is now the governor representing the country at OPEC. Realnews gathered that between middle of May and June the permanent secretary would be running the affairs of the ministry starting from the time President Goodluck Jonathan instructed the ministers to hand over to permanent secretaries in their respective ministries in the country. The idea of Shuarah presiding over the OPEC meeting is based on the fact that whoever is the permanent secretary of petroleum ministry is automatically the governor at OPEC who could stand in for the country as the president of OPEC since the new government may not have appointed its cabinet. She will automatically become the head of the delegation.
However, if General Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect of Nigeria decides to appoint a leader for the OPEC delegation, it will not be out of place since there is already a precedent. During the regime of the late General Sani Abacha’s time, Rasheed Badamosi led the Nigerian delegation to OPEC because he was mandated by the government to do so.
Only time will tell who leads the Nigerian delegation to the 167th meeting of OPEC at a time that oil prices have been on the decline. As at Friday, April 17, OPEC daily basket of 12 crudes stood at 59.52 dollars a barrel on Friday April 17, compared with $58.88 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes, ORB, is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).
– April 20, [email protected]/