Barely 24- hours after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, is dead.
Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, announced Barkindo’s passing in a tweet in the early hours of Wednesday.
Kyari said the OPEC Secretary died at about 11p.m on Tuesday, aged 63 years.
He described his departure as a great loss to his immediate family, NNPC Nigeria, OPEC and the global energy community.
“We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11 pm yesterday 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC and the global energy community,” Kyari tweeted.
“Burial arrangements will be announced shortly.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on Tuesday expressed the nation’s gratitude to the outgoing Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), describing him as a worthy ambassador of the country.
Receiving Barkindo at the State House in Abuja, the President said posterity would remember him kindly for making the nation and himself proud during his six years of meritorious service at the helm of affairs as the fourth OPEC Secretary-General from Nigeria.
He 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.
“You have indeed been a worthy ambassador of our country,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.
“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.”
Barkindo is the third former Group Managing Director of NNPC who has died in two years — Maikanti Baru died in May 2020 and Joseph Dawha in August 2020.