Nigeria’s Barkindo Assumes Office as OPEC Secretary General

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

Former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, monday assumed office as the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the agency’s secretariat in Vienna, Austria.

A statement from OPEC which THISDAY obtained in Abuja indicated that Barkindo was officially handed over to the organisation’s former Secretary General, Abdalla Salem El-Badri, who led it since January 1, 2007
Formally appointed on June 2, 2016, in Vienna to the post for a three-year term at the 169th meeting, Barkindo became the 28th Secretary General of OPEC, as well as the fourth Nigerian after Chief M.O. Feyide; Dr. Rilwanu Lukman; and Dr. Edmund Daukoru, to occupy the post.

The OPEC statement profiled Barkindo as an accomplished oil technocrat and veteran of OPEC affairs, adding that he brings with him a wealth of experience in the global oil and gas industry.
According to the statement, from 2009 to 2010, Barkindo NNPC’s Group Managing Director.
He previously served as Deputy Managing Director of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), a joint venture between NNPC, Shell, Total and Eni.

It further explained that Barkindo had earlier in his career served as a Special Assistant to Lukman who was a former petroleum resources minister and OPEC Secretary General.
Barkindo, it added, equally worked in several key roles at OPEC between 1986 and 2010.

“In 1986, he was appointed to Nigeria’s delegation to OPEC, and from 1993 to 2008, served as Nigeria’s national representative on the organisation’s economic commission board. In 2006, he served as acting Secretary General of OPEC, and represented Nigeria on OPEC’s Board of Governors from 2009 to 2010,” the statement noted.

It explained that he also helped produce the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto protocol as the leader of Nigeria’s technical delegation to the UN negotiations since 1991.

“He also served as Vice President of COP15 in 2010, when he chaired the opening session in Copenhagen attended by more than 100 heads of state and government. He is the longest serving member of the country’s delegation to the UNFCCC. He served as chairman of the OPEC task force of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development for the 15th session,” the statement further said in its profile of Barkindo.

On his educational accomplishments, the statement said Barkindo earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria; a postgraduate diploma in petroleum economics and management from the College of Petroleum Studies at Oxford University; and a master’s degree in business administration from Southeastern University in Washington, DC.