The outgoing secretary-general of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo has died.
The managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited Mele Kyari said Barkindo died about 11 pm on Tuesday, hours after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OGPEC and the global energy community,” Kyari said. “Burial arrangements will be announced shortly.”
Barkindo, who died at about 11:00 pm on Tuesday at age 63, passed away only few hours after being celebrated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The outgoing OPEC secretary general delivered a long speech at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja few hours before his death was meant to end his tenure at OPEC later this month.
The cause of the death was yet to be ascertained at the time of this report.
Hours before Barkindo’s death, Buhari during a short reception for the outgoing OPEC Secretary-General, said: Barkindo’s six-year tenure were challenging brought about by challenges that were crippling the oil market and COVID-19 pandemic that sent crude prices spiralling down at an alarming rate.
Buhari, however, declared that posterity will smile on Barkindo for demonstrating leadership which helped to rally industry players and pushed through the turbulent times.
The president said posterity will remember him kindly for making the nation and himself proud during his six years of meritorious service at the helm of affairs as the 4th OPEC Secretary-General from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Buhari has directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to mobilise the oil and gas industry to organise a befitting welcome reception in honour of Barkindo, describing him as a worthy ambassador.