Stories by Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, has explained why the alliance the cartel entered with non-members of OPEC led by the Russian Federation to rebalance the prices of crude oil has remained successful.
Barkindo, said while receiving the ‘Africa Oil Man of the Year’ award recently in Cape Town, South Africa, that a lot of people expected the alliance to falter but the decision of the coalition to adopt a fair, timely and transparent goal had seen it overcome the speculations and delivered on its objectives.
“We interpret this award as recognition of the teamwork, dedication and selflessness of a remarkable group of countries: namely, the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ strategic partners.
“Working with the statesmen, leaders and representatives of the OPEC member countries and the non-OPEC producing countries has been the honour of lifetime. Thankfully, our tireless efforts have borne fruit and our industry is in a much healthier place than it was two years ago,” said Barkindo in his speech THISDAY obtained in Abuja.
Going further, he explained that the perception of OPEC have since undergone a profound transformation in the last two years with the ‘Declaration of Cooperation.’
He added that this has also caused a great transformation for OPEC and the oil industry.
According to him: “It is no coincidence that this has occurred at the same time as an intensification of OPEC’s engagement with Africa. African membership of both OPEC and the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ strategic partnership has increased, and other African partners engage with us across a broad range of fronts, including through their attendance at the OPEC/Non-OPEC ministerial meetings.
“I think one of the most important reasons why the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ has been successful is because at its heart, it has a fair, timely and transparent goal which can be articulated in four simple words: sustainable oil market stability.
“Our means for attaining that goal can be summarised in a similarly straight-forward manner: voluntary cooperation among nations.”
He described the approach as being good and encouraged African oil producing countries to consider joining the OPEC in its efforts to work in the interests of producers and consumers, as well as the global economy.
Speaking on the speculations raised about its alliance to rebalance the oil market, he said: “When we began the Declaration of Cooperation journey in 2016, many doubted that we could achieve our goals. The health of the industry was such that some thought oil market stability would remain elusive forever.
“However, throughout our endeavours, we were inspired by the eloquent words of one of this magnificent nation’s greatest leaders and our personal hero, Nelson Mandela.
“Madiba constantly reminded us during these dark days of the downturn: A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.
“Looking to the future, OPEC will never cease to advocate for cooperation, collaboration and fraternity among nations as the best solutions to overcoming challenges, for as the old African proverb teaches us: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”