The history of Oil and Gas globally cannot be fully written without the exploits of one very important woman Mrs Diezani Allison –Madueke. Equally, the footprints she left and still leaving in the annals of Nigeria history can never be wiped off. Her achievements are tremendous and her legacies while still alive are worthy of emulation.
Diezani K. Agama was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. Her father was Chief Frederick Abiye Agama. She studied architecture in England and then at Howard University in the United States .She graduated from Howard with a Bachelor’s degree on 8 December 1992 .She returned to Nigeria and joined Shell Petroleum Corporation that year. In 2002, she attended Cambridge University for her MBA and in that same year she was awarded the prestigious British Foreign and Commonwealth Chevening Scholarship and preceded to The Judge Business Institute, Cambridge University UK, where she obtained an MBA in 2003.
In April 2006, Shell appointed her its first female Executive Director in Nigeria.
In September 2011 Alison-Madueke was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Management Sciences by the Nigeria Defence Academy
Diezani Alison-Madueke has held three significant positions in the Nigerian federal government. She was appointed Transport Minister in July 2007. On 23 December 2008, she was named as Minister of Mines and Steel Development.
After Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan became acting President in February 2010, he dissolved the cabinet on 17 March 2010, and swore in a new cabinet on 6 April 2010 with Alison-Madueke as Minister for Petroleum Resources.
As Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke has pledged to transform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry so that all Nigerians benefit and she is actually doing it, the global fall of oil prises notwithstanding.
In April 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Nigerian Content Act, which aims to increase the percentage of petroleum industry contracts that are awarded to indigenous Nigerian businesses – a reaction to the domination of the sector by foreign operators, a move she actively participated in.
One of the most controversial policies introduced under Alison-Madueke is the government’s plan to remove state subsidies on fuel prices. Mrs Madueke has supported the discontinuation of the subsidy on the grounds that it “poses a huge financial burden on the government, disproportionately benefits the wealthy, and encourages inefficiency, corruption and diversion of scarce public resources away from investment in critical infrastructure.” That stand showed her concerns for the country.
On working in male-dominated sectors, Alison-Madueke said she warned the young women she mentored while at Shell to “change their mode of thinking.”
Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, and head of the country’s delegation to the 166th General Meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been elected the president of the international oil body.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who makes history as the first female to be elected into the office, was elected just as members of OPEC began their meeting at the headquarters of the group in Vienna, Austria last month.She succeeds Libyan Vice-Prime Minister for Corporations, Abdourhman Atahar Al-Ahirish.
Until her election, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who would serve for one year, was OPEC’s alternate president. She is expected to commence work immediately to pilot the affairs of the organization at a time members are coming together to find ways of curbing falling global crude oil prices, which dropped to about $60 per barrel last week.
Alison-Madueke is the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria, and in October 2010 she became the first woman to head a country delegation at the annual OPEC conference. She was also the first female Minister of Transportation, and the first woman to be appointed to the board of Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria. On the 27th of November, 2014 she got elected as the first female President of OPEC. And just last week, she was made the president of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum at the 16th Ministerial meeting.
Indeed she is a woman of “firsts”. This feat was not because she was more fortunate than others but came about through hardwork, commitment and dedication to duty. No wonder MMS plus inducted her into its Hall of Fame. The year 2014 was indeed a great one for this great woman. Rising to the peak of the highest oil cartel in the world is no mean feat at all.
Her fame keeps rising and the ovation keeps multiplying, Nigeria is indeed blessed to have this Amazon as Nigerian. And to crown it all, the month of December is her birth month, so her achievements are crowned with hearty cheers for her 54th birthday.