Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, the outgoing Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has been confirmed dead. He reportedly passed on at about 11p.m on Tuesday, at the age of 63, few days to the end of his tenure as OPEC SG.
Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director(GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, announced this in a tweet in the early hours of Wednesday.
Recall that the Late Barkindo’s term as Secretary General is expected to end on 31 July 2022. He came to Nigeria to participate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, which runs from 4-7 July 2022.
Kyari tweeted: “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.”
Barkindo’s tenure as OPEC Secretary General would have ended by July 31.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had on Tuesday received the late Barkindo, and an accompanying delegation from the OPEC Secretariat in Abuja.
The meeting took place in part to honour Barkindo’s end of his two-term tenure as Secretary General of OPEC.
During the meeting, President Buhari said, “We are proud of your distinguished achievements at OPEC. You were able to successfully navigate the Organization through turbulent challenges.”
Minister Sylva, Minister of State Petroleum Resources who echoed the President’s remarks, thanking the Secretary General for his six years of leadership.
Sylva said, “Mr Barkindo has steered the heavily loaded Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) ship through … turbulent waters, against all formidable obstacles,” adding, “He spearheaded the historic ‘Algeria Accord’ in September 2016, which paved the way for the equally historic DoC between 23 oil-producing countries – a feat that had never been achieved in the oil industry.”
“Mr Barkindo is a strong believer in multilateralism and cooperation,” Minister Sylva highlighted.
In return, the Secretary General said: “I and my colleagues from the OPEC Secretariat are deeply honoured by your audience, Mr President, as well as of the Minister Sylva and other senior officials of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
He also briefed the President on oil market developments and the vital role played by the Declaration of Cooperation in stabilizing the global oil market over the past six years.