By Lawrence Olaoye
Newly elected President of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Allison-Madueke, yesterday warned that the country cannot continue to do business as usual if it intends to weather the storm occasioned by the consistent fall in the price of crude oil at the international market.
The first female OPEC President, while briefing Villa Correspondent on the probable measure to be taken by the government to contain the effect of the fall of the commodity, said “We cannot continue to do business as usual. We must ensure that we have the right enabling parameters and indicies in this country to attract the right end-user markets because there are so many other countries that would be competing for those end user markets and to get that end user demand.
“So we will have to sit down and reformulate our entire approach over the next month or so; in fact immediately to ensure that we are in fact at the cutting edge of competitveness, we make ourselves competitive in the market and we are able to garner and take those end-users’ markets.”
She also lamented the fact that she is taking over the OPEC leadership at a time the price of crude at the international market was facing dramatic turbulence.
She however assured that the body under her leadership would strategize to stabilize the price of the product in order to salvage the economies of its member states currently being imperiled.
“Many countries, both OPEC and non-OPEC countries are suffering immensely. Even as we speak Venezuela has gone into austerity measures and is measuring food because they were completely dependent on oil.
“Angola, Algeria, Iran are all under duress as is Nigeria because it has affected our budgetary benchmark. And even non-OPEC countries like Russia who will not cut production are already seeing a drop in the value of their rubuc.
“So it is quite impactful on OPEC prices and what OPEC does in the global oil market. And so we will be watching very closely as president of OPEC at this time, at what point we have to call OPEC Extra Ordinary meeting and reconvene to see whether other strategies can be put into play.”
On how she will use her position to boost the nation’s economy, Allison-Madueke said as OPEC President, she is expected to call together, the entire body at points where there are critical impact in the market from the price of the barrel and in this case the downward trend of the barrel of oil.