By Yemie Adeoye
AHEAD of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has on behalf of the federal government flagged off the in-country celebration of the organizationâ€™s Golden Jubilee with the launch of commemorative postage stamps.
Alison-Madueke while flagging off the celebration in Abuja on Tuesday said the commemorative stamp is one of the events mapped out by the OPEC Secretariat for all member countries for the 50th anniversary celebrations which will come to a climaxÂ in September in Vienna, Austria.
The Minister who gave a brief history of OPEC said the organization was worth celebrating for living up to its mandate of stabilizing prices in the international oil market, adding that the objectives of forming the organization are still as relevant today as they were half a century ago.
She said the organization was formed in Baghdad, Iraq, in September 1960, by five countries, with Nigeria joining on July 10, 1971, as its 11th member.
â€œThe principal aim of the organization when it was conceptualized was to co-ordinate and unify the petroleum policies of member countries and determine the best means for safeguarding their interests individually and collectively. It was also to devise ways and means of ensuring stabilization of prices in the international oil markets,â€ she stated.
Alison-Madueke listed other activities lined up for the OPEC anniversary celebration in Nigeria to include a workshop on Energy Reporting for media practitioners, a novelty football match between Oil and Gas industry Executives and Energy Editors and a concert to showcase contemporary folk, classical and neo-classical Nigerian music in keeping with OPECâ€™s agenda of promoting the rich cultural diversity of member countries.
Other dignitaries at the launch included the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Engr. Sheikh Gumi, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Engr.
Austen Oniwon, the Post-Master General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) represented by the Deputy Post-Master General (Operations) Mr P. Z. Omhodia, the Area Postal Manager of NIPOST, Abuja, Alhaji A. B. Mahmud, Directors in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Executive Directors of the NNPC.