Nigeria, OPEC, mourn Mohammed Barkindo

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The death of the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, has been met with shock and sadness across the energy and oil community in Nigeria, and globally.

Mr. Barkindo died on Tuesday evening in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

His death was announced by the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari.


We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo,” Kyari wrote on Twitter.

He described Barkindo’s death as “a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community.” 

Kyari said Barkindo died hours after meeting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and giving the main speech at an energy summit in Abuja.

He was due to retire this July.

In a tweet, OPEC described his death as a tragedy.

This tragedy is a shock to the OPEC Family. We express our sorrow and deep gratitude for the over 40 years of selfless service that Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo gave to OPEC. His dedication and leadership will inspire OPEC for many years to come,” the OPEC Secretariat said.

Barkindo launched his career in the oil industry in Nigeria in the early 1980s, where he served in various capacities at the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited,a the country’s oil firm.

The late Barkindo had also represented Nigeria on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board.

He was acting OPEC secretary general in 2006 before returning to the position 10 years later as the Secretary General, leading oil producing nations during a fragile oil market period.

Barkindo said at the last energy summit he attended in Abuja that; “In a very short timespan, the industry has been hit by two major cycles – the severe market downturn in 2015 and 2016, and the even more far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


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