Thursday, December 4, 2014 5:12 am
Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, Nigeria’s oil minister and conference President, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said Nigeria needed to develop another strategy to stay competitive in the dwindling crude oil market.
Allison-Madueke, stated this when she spoke with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She said that the country could no longer afford to “do business as usual“ considering the prevailing decline in global demand for the product.
“Nigeria has to become much more competitive at this time and going into the future. We cannot continue to do business as usual.
“We must ensure that we have the right enabling parameters and indices in this country to attract the right end user markets and end user demands for our products 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 immediately to make ourselves competitive in the market.“
She described the falling oil prices as challenging for OPEC, saying that the task before the organisation was to stabilise the plummeting crude oil prices in the international market.
To that end, she said, OPEC would watch the market closely and would decide when it would convene an extra-ordinary meeting to consider the issues at stake.
“This is a very challenging time for OPEC and for the global crude oil wells as a whole. Quite clearly, there has been a battle of wills between certain OPEC countries – the big players, and certain non-OPEC countries who are big players in the world crude oil production markets at this time.
“So it is a challenging time to take over as OPEC President and our prayer of course is that we will be able to stabilise the crude oil prices per barrel over this period because it is critical as many countries, both OPEC and non-OPEC – are suffering immensely.
“Even as we speak, Venezuela has adopted austerity measures and is rationing food because the country is completely dependent on oil.
“Angola, Algeria, (and) Iran are all under duress as is Nigeria because (the fall in oil prices) has affected our budgetary benchmark. And even non-OPEC countries like Russia, who would not cut production, are already seeing a drop in the value of their Ruble.
“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.“