March 2, 2024

More tributes from around the world pour in for Barkindo


Mohammad Barkindo, Nigerian-born OPEC Secretary-General, until his death on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, was aptly described as the last of the “Wise Men” because of the instrumental role he played in navigating OPEC success stories in the 80’s.

The former OPEC Secretary General at the time was quite visible although he was the Special Assistant to Nigeria’s former Minister for Petroleum Resources, Dr Rilwan Lukman. His carriage and affable disposition soon earned him the accolade as “Associate Wiseman ” by Energy Reporters.

Recall that EnergyDay reported the death of the Barkindo, following a tweet by Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director(GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, on Tuesday, confirming the incident, hours after he gave a keynote address at the just concluded 21st Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition held in Abuja.

World leaders, stakeholders in the oil and gas sectors, and the major players in the energy industry have continued to pour in more accolades as a sign of their last respect to Late Barkindo.

The industry stakeholders stated that the footprints left by the 63-year-old OPEC boss whose career spanned over four decades, particularly in the oil and gas sector, would forever remain a testament to his significant contributions to the development of and impacts on mankind while he lived on earth.

Barkindo had worked with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the Corporation’s International Investments Head, once served as the President of Duke Oil, and later became the CEO of the NNPC before moving on to become the the Secretary General of OPEC on August 1, 2016. Between 1986 and 2010, he served as the Nigerian Delegate to OPEC Ministerial Conferences.

A statement issued by OPEC in its words described the late Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, as an OPEC icon, a dear friend to many.

The statement reads: “It is with immense sorrow and sadness that the OPEC Secretariat learnt of the passing of the OPEC Secretary General, His Excellency, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, in his home country of Nigeria.

“He was the much-loved leader of the OPEC Secretariat and his passing is a profound loss to the entire OPEC Family, the oil industry and the international community.

“OPEC extends its deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, loved ones and his home country, Nigeria. It is a day in which words are not enough, but it is also important to express our deep gratitude for the over 40 years of selfless service that HE Barkindo gave to OPEC. His dedication and leadership will inspire OPEC for many years and decades to come.

“Throughout HE Barkindo’s long career, there have been several central themes that have driven him: an infectious passion for the petroleum industry; an unwavering belief in oil’s poverty eradicating potential; a steadfast commitment to sustainable development; the importance of dialogue and multilateralism; and, most fundamentally of all, treating everyone with respect and kindness.

“As OPEC Secretary General, a position he assumed on August 1, 2016, HE Barkindo was a visionary leader and an eloquent communicator who played key role in forming the historic Declaration of Cooperation at the end of 2016.

“He served the Organization with great distinction and helped it successfully navigate through two major industry downturns (2015-2016 and 2020-2021), was instrumental in the setting up of the Charter of Cooperation (CoC), and was a consummate diplomat in further advancing dialogue and cooperation with a variety of industry stakeholders.

“Despite the attainment of so many heights in his career, HE Barkindo remained a selfless man of great humility and decency; treating everyone, irrespective of rank or office, with dignity and courtesy. A trailblazer widely admired and respected throughout the globe. A dear friend to many.

“To those who were fortunate enough to know and work alongside him, they will miss his warmth, kindness and sense of humour. His example of dedication and duty will inspire future leaders in the industry.

“To the last, he was always true to his respectful nature, always there to listen, offer guidance and show leadership; a genuine OPEC icon. His last words to friends were that he was happy to have concluded his tenure as Secretary General, he had served the best he could, and that he was proud of those who had served with him.

“HE Barkindo elevated the Organization’s position and role as an active and responsible partner in the oil industry and international community through both his deeds and words. Given his scholarly nature, and the fact that his speeches regularly used quotes to emphasize points and opinions, it is perhaps apt to leave the final word to one of Barkindo’s favourite scribes, the famous poet, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi.

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation,” the statement ended.


Various dignitaries in Nigeria and from the international community who paid their tributes in recognition of Barkindo’s impacts on Nigeria and the global community, especially in the oil and gas sector, said he remains a global energy giant whose accomplishments and legacies will never be forgotten so easily.

Timipre Sylva, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in his official tribute to Barkindo, said, “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources is thrown into mourning over the passing of H.E Muhammad Barkindo Sanusi.

“This is a great loss to Nigeria, to OPEC, to the Energy sector and most compassionately to his family which we have in our prayers and thoughts.”

Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) with the Management and staff of the Commission, said, “Barkindo’s leadership qualities, humility and passion will be greatly missed in the global energy space.

“We pray for the peaceful repose of his soul and may God Almighty grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss at this difficult time.”

Dr. Fahad Al Taffaq, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, said, “I am saddened to learn of the demise of my friend Dr Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the outgoing SG of OPEC. A great loss to Nigeria and the entire global energy community.”

Dr. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) and former Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), expressed his shock over Barkindo’s death, in a chat with EnergyDay.

“This is quite shocking. He was a great Nigerian who did us proud on the global stage. He lived a fulfilled life,” he said.

The Management of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO), in an official statement, noted, “The APPO family mourns the passing of an industry leader, H.E. Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC.

“His passing is a great loss to Nigeria, Africa, OPEC and the entire global oil and gas industry.”

Bala Wunti, Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, (a subsidiary of the NNPC), stated, ” Iam shocked to learn the passing away of our highly respected Dr. Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo who until this death was the OPEC Secretary General and former General Managing Director of NNPC.

“His death is indeed a great loss to his family, the NNPC, Nigeria, and the world at large.”

The Management of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization (APPO), in an official statement, noted, “The APPO family mourns the passing of an industry leader, H.E. Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC.

“His passing is a great loss to Nigeria, Africa, OPEC and the entire global oil and gas industry.”

Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive at Oando Plc, who described Barkindo as an exemplary leader, expressed his shock at the unexpected death of the OPEC Secretary General while noting that his “footprints in the oil industry would remain indelible.”

Tinubu recalled that few hours before his sudden death, Barkindo and him chatted and discussed topical issues at the ongoing Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja.

His words, “There is a thin line that separates life from death, but once it’s crossed, it becomes as large as an ocean, and so treacherous that it’s impossible to cross back. When Federico Chini made this deathless quote not many were aware of its depth until now.

“We had many conversations and discussions together yesterday but this wasn’t one of them. The most profound reminder of the fragility of life is death.

“You were a good man who lived a great life. Your mentorship, humility, and resilience were exemplary. I still can’t believe the news, but Allah knows best. Till we meet again my good friend,” the Oando Boss concluded.

Mrs. Motunrayo Martins, from a distant glance as an energy lawyer, said , Alhaji Barkindo, ascended prominence in Nigeria and OPEC in the fashion of a price who was well schooled in the art of public service diplomacy. His kind will be difficult to replicate.”

EnergyDay further gathered that Barkindo’s unexpected death came at a time when he was expected to join the Atlantic Council as a distinguished fellow in the Global Energy Center after completing his tenure as the OPEC Secretary-General on July 31.