As Nigeria marks its 50th anniversary as Oganisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC) member state, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has noted that the relationship between both parties has been mutually beneficial.
Sylva at a press briefing in Abuja to mark the day Nigeria joined OPEC 50 years ago noted that without OPEC the international oil market would have been in chaos.
He explained that Nigeria in the past 50 years has produced six Presidents of OPEC conference and four OPEC Secretary Generals including the incumbent, Muhammad Barkindo.
He said: “the decision by Nigeria to become a member of OPEC has enhanced the development of the oil industry in the country, enabled the country to influence the growth and contribute to the survival of the industry globally, as well as placed the country among the comity of nations engaged in the noble duty of stabilizing the oil market for the benefit of all – producers, consumers and investors alike.
“The relationship between Nigeria and OPEC, without doubt, has been of mutual benefits to both parties.
“On the one hand, it has supported the growth of the oil industry in Nigeria through the harmonization and adoption of relevant policies among OPEC Member Countries, as well as through the sharing of knowledge and technical expertise. Nigeria has also benefited greatly from the efforts of OPEC to stabilize the oil market taking into consideration that the economy of the country is highly dependent on revenue from oil.
“On the other hand, Nigeria has also contributed enormously to the survival of the OPEC through turbulent times, by lending full support to the efforts of the Organization to balance and stabilize the oil market.”
He pointed that last week’s failure by OPEC and its allies including Russia known as OPEC plus, to agree on future oil production level, was not an indication of cracks emerging in the alliance, said very soon a solution would be found.
“The last meeting was deadlocked in a way but that really doesn’t indicate that there is a crack in the OPEC family. In a family it is not the majority that wins. OPEC is a consensus organization. So everybody in the family must agree before we can move forward.
“So if 99 percent of the people are on one side and one percent is on one side OPEC will not still agree and that is really what happened to us in the last meeting. Everybody else has agreed but one country disagreed. They have reasons why they disagreed and we are trying to resolve the issue with them”, he added.