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Hours After Presidential Honour, OPEC Sec-Gen, Barkindo Dies At 63

The Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, has died.

According to the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, Barkindo died on Tuesday night.

In a tweet by Kyari, he said: “We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11pm yesterday 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC, and the global energy community.  Burial arrangements will be announced shortly.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Barkindo had been honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja for his work at OPEC.

His tenure as OPEC Secretary-General was scheduled to expire at the end of July, 2022.

The President described him as a worthy ambassador of the country.

“You have indeed been a worthy ambassador of our country,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.

“We are proud of your achievements before and during your appointment at OPEC and the proud legacies you will leave behind.

“Your time in charge of the affairs of OPEC has been a very challenging one for the global oil industry. Oil producers were finding it difficult to come together to address challenges that were crippling the oil market.”

He added, “Not long after, the world was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic that sent crude prices spiralling down at an alarming rate. You showed incredible leadership to rally industry players and pushed through the turbulent times.

“There is no doubt about your efforts in putting together the Declaration of Cooperation which is the largest in the history of OPEC and the global oil industry and also the longest in duration in the history of the organization. This was a herculean task.”

Barkindo completed his bachelor’s degree in political science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1981; and a postgraduate diploma in Petroleum Economics from Oxford University in 1988 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in 1991. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Federal University of Technology, Yola.

He has headed Nigeria’s technical delegation to UN climate negotiations since 1991 and represented Nigeria on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board between 1993 and 2008.

He previously served as Acting Secretary General in 2006 and led the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation between 2009 and 2010.

He became Secretary General of OPEC 1 August 2016.

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