By Uche Amunike
The death has been announced of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo who died shortly after Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari praised him for serving the country diligently.
His death was announced by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, Wednesday, who confirmed that the 63 year old Barkindo, who died at about 11pm on Tuesday, will be buried in his hometown in Adamawa State, according to Muslim rites on Wednesday.
Interestingly, he died shortly after President Buhari profusely extolled him for being a worthy Ambassador of the country . Early on Tuesday, the OPEC Secretary-General, was in a meeting with President Mohammed Buhari, during which he informed him that his tenure as the OPEC Secretary- General which runs for 6years was coming to an end.
In response, President Buhari thanked him for being a great representative of the country, while directing the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to sensitize the Oil and Gas industry to put together, a beautiful welcome reception in order to accord him a befitting welcome reception in his honor as he finally returns
His words: ‘You have indeed been a worthy ambassador of our country. 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 spiraling 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.’
President Buhari went on to heap praises on the outgoing OPEC Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo, appreciating him for providing experienced administrative management to the organization and confirmed that his efforts helped in placing OPEC in a stronger position to face the challenges it will encounter in the coming years.
Barkindo, on his part, thanked the President for giving him the opportunity to serve and promised that the country will continue to play its leadership role, not only in OPEC, but also in the global oil industry.
The late scribe gained a lot of experience from working in different positions for years across several capacities, some of which are:
• Between 1982 to 1985, he worked with Nigerian Mining Corporation, Jos, up to the Level of Principal Administrative Officer, Liaison Office, Lagos.
• From 1984 to 1986, he served as the Special Assistant to the Minister of Mines, Power and Steel, Lagos.
• From 1986 to 1989, he was the Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Head, Office of the Chairman of the NNPC Board, Lagos.
• In 1990, he became Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lagos.
• In 1992, he became the Head, International Investments, Investment Division, NNPC Headquarters.
• From 1993 to 1994, he was Chairman NAPOIL.
• Between 1993 and 1997, he led as the General Manager, NNPC London Office.
• From 1998 to 2003, he was Managing Director/Chief Executive, HYSON/CALSON — an international trading arm of the NNPC.
• In 2003/2004, he was Group General Manager Investments, NNPC Headquarters
• In 2005, he became the Deputy Managing Director/Chief Executive, NLNG.
• In 2007, he was elevated to the office of Coordinator Special Projects, NNPC.
• Between 2007 and 2009, he oversaw all Federal Government projects vested in the NNPC as Coordinator.
• Between January 2009 and April 2010, he served as Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC