President Goodluck Jonathan has nominated the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, for the office of Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The office, currently occupied by Abdalla Salem el-Badri, since 2007, is expected to be vacant at the end of the year, according to agency reports.
El-Badri, 74, is a citizen of Libya and resides in Austria. He was born in Ghemines, Libya and studied at the University of Florida.
Nigeria’s candidate is expected to benefit from stiff contest as a result of competition from candidates from Saudi Arabia and Iran for the same post.
Should the bid of Alison-Madueke, who is currently OPEC’s alternate president succeeds, she would become OPEC’s first female Secretary-General, succeeding long-serving incumbent, Abdalla el-Badri, whose term ends in December.
The proposal is intended to capitalise on the deadlock over the post, created by opposing candidates from Saudi Arabia and Iran, as both countries continue to press for their candidate.
Nigeria, a big player in the oil market with daily production of 1,954 barrels, is likely to receive support from fellow African countries in OPEC.
The secretary-general is the legally authorised representative of the organisation and Chief Executive of the secretariat.
The conference appoints the secretary-general for a period of three years, which may be renewed once for the same period.
OPEC holds its 165th Ordinary Meeting in Vienna, Austria, today to agree on policy for the second half of the year.
Some of the discussions at the meeting would centre on the nominees, as well as the decision of oil ministers of OPEC to leave the output target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) unchanged. Agency report