How Alison-Madueke lost bid for OPEC job

Nigeria's Petroleum Minister and OPEC's alternate president Diezani Alison-Madueke adjusts her glasses at the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston12 June 2014, Vienna, Austria – The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has agreed to retain its current Secretary-General, Libyan Abdullah al-Badri, in that post, in the process, truncating Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s nomination of his Petroleum Minister for the position.

Al-Badri’s stay on the post was extended till June next year. The election was earlier slated for December.

At the end of a meeting of the Vienna, Austria-based organisation Wednesday, its communique confirmed the decision to extend long-serving Secretary General’s term till June 30, 2015.

Its next meeting is slated for November 27.

The proposal was intended to solve the deadlock over the post created by opposing candidates from Saudi Arabia and Iran, Iraq’s Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi, said

Jonathan had nominated the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to succeed the long-serving incumbent, who had previously planned to retire in 2012.

But the 12-member organisation, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal, decided to extend al-Badri’s tenure, dashing the ambition of Alison-Madueke.

The proposal to have Alison-Madueke to serve as OPEC’s secretary-general was to solve the deadlock over the post created by opposing candidates from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

It was learnt that Nigeria’s delegation to the OPEC conference made a push during the week to nominate Alison-Madueke for the post in order to resolve the differences among members who had been split over who would replace al-Badri.

It was reported on Wednesday that Alison-Madueke’s nomination came at a time when the minister was facing intense pressure back home to extricate herself from a series of scandals linked to her.

If the Nigerian candidacy had succeeded, Alison-Madueke would have been the oil exporter group’s first female in the post.

The minister is currently being investigated by the House of Representatives for allegedly spending N10bn to charter a private jet for two years.

She has, however, made repeated attempts to foil the probe by the House.

Last month, she got an order of interim injunction restraining the House, its members, committees or agents from summoning or directing her to appear before the probe panel.

The House had commenced the investigation following a motion on March 20, 2014, that was presented by Samuel Adejare.

The motion had accused Alison-Madueke of committing about €500,000 (N130m) monthly to maintaining the private jet for her personal needs and those of her immediate family.

The matter has yet to be completed and is still before the House, even as the Federal Government presented the minister for the international position.

Meanwhile, the OPEC delegates agreed to roll over the group’s production quota, maintaining its current official production output.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision was reached despite concerns over adequate global supply.

OPEC noted that Libya had struggled to lift its output amid political turmoil in the country, adding that global growth and oil demand had been picking up.



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