Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nigerian Oil Minister is first woman OPEC minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke has scheduled an Oct. 14 gathering with the media at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna. She is the first woman OPEC minister although women, including Kuwait’s Siham Razzouqi, previously have led national delegations at OPEC meetings.

Alison-Madueke has had her work cut out for her since she was appointed Nigeria’s oil minister earlier this year.

While visiting the Baker Institute at Rice University in Houston recently, she acknowledged the energy business is undergoing rapid changes, particularly in its response to environmental concerns and regulations.

During the OPEC meeting, she is expected to push for a larger oil quota for Nigeria. Meanwhile at home, Alison-Madueke is responsible for implementing her government’s plan to provide 10% of petroleum revenue to communities in the Niger Delta, her home region.

She told OGJ that she believes the administration of Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan had made some headway in reducing hostility by militants toward international oil companies. Saying she understands the views of both international oil companies and Nigeria’s citizens, Alison-Madueke said she advocates an open dialogue between both sides regarding demands for increased local control of oil revenue.

A former executive in Nigeria with what is now Royal Dutch Shell PLC, she studied at Howard University in Washington and received a master’s degree in business administration from Cambridge University.

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