More problems for economy
Hopes that there would be a firm resolution on crude oil freeze among oil producing nations were dashed yesterday following a stalemate at the meeting in Doha, Qatar.
The outcome, according to experts would adversely affect Nigerian economy given our dependence on oil revenue to finance annual budget.
The conference, held by OPEC and non-OPEC members, ended after a 14-hour session without agreeing on a freeze as Iran and Saudi Arabia continued to flex muscles.
According to agency reports, Nigeria’s minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, worked behind the scene to get the Arab countries to reach a consensus but his efforts did not yield any fruits.
Saudi Arabia insisted that Iran, which was absent at the conference, must also agree to a production freeze before any deal can be reached.
Iran, which just returned to the international market after the lifting of sanctions, is keen to regain its share, contrary to the wish of the Saudis that the country should join a global freeze deal.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been locked in a regional supremacy battle.
The conference, presided over by the Qatari minister of energy and industry, Mohammed Saleh Abdulla Al Sada, ended without any decision.
Decision has now been moved to June, five months after the deal was first mooted to stabilise output at January levels until October 2016.
The 2016 federal budget is hinged on $38 per barrel of crude. Expectations were high that the deadlocked OPEC meeting would adjust the international price of crude higher with an agreed freeze in production, thus increasing the financing of Nigeria’s budget estimates transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by the National Assembly only last week.


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