Finally, it appears Diezani is about to flex her power as the president of OPEC. Reuters reports she has threatened to call an OPEC meeting in six weeks if oil price continues to slide amidst OPEC policy of not cutting policy and increasing glut. OPEC has had a hawkish oil policy as it continues to battle shale producers in the US for market share. However, this move is affecting less richer producers like Nigeria leading Diezani to respond.
Nigeria will call an extraordinary meeting of OPEC if crude oil prices slip any further, the country’s oil minister said in an interview with the Financial Times, in a sign of growing alarm over the impact of oil’s collapse on oil-producing economies.
“We’re already talking with member countries,” said Diezani Alison-Madueke in the interview published on Monday. As OPEC president, she is responsible for liaising with member countries and the producer group’s secretary-general in the event of an emergency meeting.
If the price “slips any further it is highly likely that I will have to call an extraordinary meeting of OPEC in the next six weeks or so”, she said.
Almost all OPEC countries, except perhaps the Arab bloc, are “very uncomfortable,” she said.
This is a significant statement especially coming from the Nigerian Minister as non Arab OPEC members fight against harsh economic consequences arising from this move. Nigeria for example has seen exchange rate drop by over 30% whilst the stock market is one of the worst performing in the world. Government is also expected to run a wider budget deficit this year just as GDP growth rate is expectedly to slow. In November, the 12-member group chose to hold production at 30 million barrels a day. The next official meeting is scheduled for June.