Deziani Alison Mmaueke née Agama was born in the oil rich city of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, Nigeria, on 6th December, 1960 to Chief Frederick Abiye Agama.
She is a graduate of architecture which she studied first in England and then at Howard University, USA. Deziani later graduated at Howard with a Bachelor’s degree on December 8, 1992.
In 1992 which happened to be her graduation year, she returned to Nigeria and got employment with Shell Petroleum Development Corporation. Deziani proceeded to Cambridge University in 2002 for further studies. It was at Cambridge University that she did her Masters. Deziani was appointed the first female Executive Director of Shell Nigeria in April 2006.
Deziani Alison-Madueke has been married to Admiral Alison-Madueke (retired) since 1999. Admiral Alison-Madueke is one-time Chief of Naval Staff, and was the governor of Imo and Anambra State at different times in his military career. Deziani has two sons, Chimezie Madueke and Ugonna Madueke.
On September 2011, Deziani Alison-Madueke was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Management Sciences by the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. She has held several significant positions, and in the Nigerian federal government, she has held three significant positions. She was appointed the Minister of Transport in July 2007. On December 23, 2008, she was appointed the Minister of Mines and Steel Development. When Goodluck Jonathan , who was formerly a vice president became the acting President of Nigeria in February 2010, he dissolved the previous cabinet on 17 March 2010, and appointed members of his new cabinet on April 6, 2010, Alison-Madueke became the Minister for Petroleum Resources.
On her appointment as Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Alison-Madueke pledged to transform Nigeria’s oil and gas industry in such a way that it would benefit all Nigerians.
Under her watch as minister, In April 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law, the Nigerian Content Act, which was aimed at increasing the percentage of petroleum industry contracts which were awarded to indigenous Nigerian businesses – a sharp change to the previous domination of the sector by foreign operators.
Under the Deziani’s regime also, One of the most controversial policies in the oil sector was introduced: the Nigerian government planned to remove state subsidies on fuel prices. Alison-Madueke had proposed the discontinuation of the subsidy, giving reasons that it poses a huge financial burden on the government and that the burden disproportionately benefits the wealthy, and encourages inefficiency, corruption and diversion of scarce public resources that could be used for investment in critical infrastructure.
Alison-Madueke broke the trend of men’s domination of the oil sector as she was the first woman to hold the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria, she also became the first woman to head the country’s delegation at the annual OPEC conference October 2010. She was also the first female to become the Minister of Transportation in Nigeria, and the first woman to be appointed as a member of the board of Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria. On the November 27, 2014 Deziani Alison Mmadueke was elected as the first female President of OPEC.
After her tenure expired as Minister for Petroleum resources, she was suspected to be involved in a money laundering scandal which is yet to be proven by competent courts in Nigeria.