The secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Nigerian Mohammed Barkindo, died last night at the age of 63, reported the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, on his Twitter account.
“We have lost our esteemed Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo. He passed away around 11pm last night, July 5, 2022,” Kyari wrote in her tweet.
“It is certainly a great loss for his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, OPEC and the global energy community. Burial arrangements will be announced shortly,” his brief statement concludes.
On the same social network, OPEC later confirmed the unexpected death of the organization’s “most beloved leader of the secretariat.”
“This tragedy is a shock to the OPEC family,” adds the organization, while expressing “pain and deep gratitude” to the secretary general, and condolences to his family and his country.
The sudden death of Barkindo, whose second and last term as head of OPEC was going to expire on the 31st, was completely unexpected because just yesterday, before his imminent return to Nigeria, he was received by the president of that country, Muhammadu Buhari, who offered a welcome gala in his honor.
In his presence at the “State House” (seat of the Nigerian presidency), Buhari “expressed on Tuesday in Abuja the nation’s gratitude” to Barkindo, “describing him as a worthy ambassador of the country,” OPEC confirmed in a statement. dated the day before, July 5, that is, before the death was known.
Barkindo, for his part, referred to OPEC’s alliance with Russia, Kazakhstan, Mexico and other independent oil-producing countries, known as “OPEC” and forged in 2016 under his mandate to face “a recession in the sector.” oil.
“It was very obvious to me that this was beyond what OPEC could tackle on its own. We needed the support of other leading oil producers in the world,” Barkindo recalled.
“Having survived the great turbulence of 2016 and 2020, Barkindo expressed confidence that the worst is over and the future looks very bright for the organization,” the statement added.
Born in 1959 in Yola (Nigeria), he graduated in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University of Zaria (Nigeria) in 1981 and in Petroleum Economics from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) in 1988.
In addition, before gaining extensive experience in the oil industry in his country, he obtained a Master of Business Administration (MAB) from the University of Washington (United States).
After holding various positions in the Nigerian Government, he began working for the NNCP in 1992, whose directorship he held between 2009 and 2010. At the same time, he was governor of Nigeria before OPEC and acting secretary general of the organization in 2006.
On August 1, 2016, he assumed the general secretariat of the Vienna-based organization for the first time, elected by consensus by all member countries, who reappointed him for a second term three years later.
According to the statutes of the organization, a person can only remain for two terms of three years in the highest position of the organization that today has thirteen member countries.
Since Barkindo’s second and last term was due to expire on the 31st of this month, OPEC ministers have already appointed his replacement, the Kuwaiti Haitham al-Ghais.
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