Nigeria Retains OPEC Presidency Despite Deziani's Exit As Petroleum Minister


SAN FRANCISCO, June 04, (THEWILL) – The Presidency of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is still under Nigeria's control despite the exit of its Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, an official of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with knowledge of the workings of OPEC, said Thursday in Abuja.

The official, who preferred anonymity, according to state owned news agency NAN, said the exit of the former Minister had nothing to do with the status of Nigeria as the President of the organization because she was not elected to serve in her capacity.

THEWILL can report that OPEC member countries rotate the presidency, which is more of a ceremonial role, amongst themselves. The OPEC secretariat is run by a Secretary General, who oversees the affairs of the oil cartel.

The official said the position would be filled after the appointment of a new Minister of Petroleum by Nigeria's new President, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari.

Alison-Madueke was elected president at the 166th General Meeting of OPEC on Nov. 27, 2014 but started to function in the office in January 2015.

The president of OPEC, according to the official, is expected to serve for a period of one year and to preside over the meetings of the conference in the course of that presidency.

OPEC, the source says, has Alternate President who exercises the responsibilities of the President during an absence, or when the incumbent s unable to carry out the responsibilities.

Analysts and insiders in the Buhari administration have floated the idea that the President will keep the oil and gas portfolio to himself due to the fraud and leakages in the management of the sector under previous administrations.