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EarthTimes.Org: Shell exec to be Nigeria oil minister

LAGOS, Nigeria, July 24 A high level Shell Nigeria employee was approved by the country’s Senate to become the next oil minister under the new government.

President Umaru Yar’Adua nominated Diezani Alison-Madueke for the oil post in Africa’s largest oil producer. Alison-Madueke is from the oil-rich and troubled Niger Delta region state of Vayelsa.

Her nomination is seen as a move to reconcile the restive area, where residents accuse past governments of exploiting the oil wealth and returning little money to the area, the global energy information firm Platts reports.

Violence has shaken the area, where militants rule and clash with government forces. A common tactic is kidnapping foreign oil company workers as leverage in the disagreement or to raise cash from ransoms.

Alison-Madueke is the external relations director of the Shell Petroleum Development Co., the first woman to sit on that board.

Yar’Adua took office at the end of May and is expected to make his cabinet official Wednesday.

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