President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the nation’s gratitude to the outgoing Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Mohammed Barkindo, describing him as a worthy ambassador of the country.
Receiving Barkindo at State House, 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 4th OPEC Secretary-General from Nigeria.
The President directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, to mobilise the oil and gas industry to organise a befitting welcome reception in honour of Barkindo.
In his remarks, Barkindo attributed his success to the tremendous guidance, charisma, and international gravitas of President Buhari, support from the OPEC secretariat in Vienna, and cooperation by members of the organisation.
He recounted how the counsel from President Buhari helped in the birthing of the Declaration of Cooperation of OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing countries, after he assumed office in Vienna, Austria in 2016 during a downturn in the sector when oil prices plunged to less than 10 U.S dollars per barrel.
Having survived the major turbulences in the fluctuations of oil prices and the effects of Covid-19 in 2016 and 2020, Barkindo expressed confidence that the worst was over and the future looked promising for OPEC.
He thanked President Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve, pledging that Nigeria would continue to play its leadership role in OPEC as well as in the global oil industry.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino