President Mohammed Buhari said the outgoing Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), late Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, would be remembered for making Nigeria proud during his six-year reign in the organisation.
Naija News reports that the President made this known in a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, hours before the death of Barkindo.
Speaking when he received Barkindo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon, Buhari described the late Barkindo as a worthy ambassador of Nigeria and the 4th OPEC Secretary-General.
The President said the country was proud of Barkindo’s achievements before and during his appointment at OPEC and the proud legacies he is leaving behind in the organisation.
The statement read, “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.
“Not long after, the world was faced with the COVID-19 pandemic that sent crude prices spiralling 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.”
Hours after the meeting with the President, Barkindo whose tenure as OPEC Secretary-General was due to end on July 31, was pronounced dead at about 11p.m on Tuesday at the age of 63.