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Barkindo: When Architect of Declaration of Cooperation (DOC) Got Nod for 3 More Years

-By Gideon Osaka

By the time Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo completes his tenure in 2022, he would have entered the annals of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, as one of the longest-serving Secretaries General of the oil cartel.

This means that he is following the path of Rilwanu Lukman, who was OPEC Secretary General from July 1, 1986 to June 30, 1988 and January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2000, as well as Subroto of Indonesia, who was OPEC Secretary General from July 1, 1988 to June 30, 1994. Barkindo’s tenure would also have placed Nigeria as one of the three OPEC nations that have produced Secretary General four times. In the annals of OPEC, Nigeria, Indonesia and Venezuela are the countries that have produced four Secretaries General. Nigeria’s foray into that position started with M.O Feyide, who served as Secretary General from January 1, 1975 to December 31, 1976, followed by Rilwanu Lukman, who served two times as highlighted earlier and Edmund Daukoru, who served from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006. There is no gainsaying the fact that OPEC witnessed some significant milestones during Barkindo’s tenure. For example, it was during his first three-year tenure that OPEC welcomed two new African members, Equatorial Guinea in 2017, the smallest country in OPEC by population and the Republic of Congo in 2018. During the meetings, the producing countries restated their ‘declaration of cooperation’ towards a stable market.

Also, a draft for a charter of cooperation for the enablement of proactive dialogue between those at ministerial and technical levels was also created. There were also tailored debates on recent oil market development and the producing countries and companies’ immediate prospects. Barkindo was acting secretary general in 2006 and represented Nigeria on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board from 1993 to 2008. Speaking on the re-election, Executive Chairman of the Chamber and chief executive of the Centurion Law Group, NJ Ayuk stated, “The extension of Mohammed Barkindo’s mandate as secretary-general for another term is excellent news. It is well-deserved and a result of the trust he has gained from the entire global energy community. “Barkindo has maintained faith in the future of the oil and gas industry, he picks the right battles and fights them with courage. As the race towards stability continues, his sense of teamwork will continue building the bridges our industry needs to achieve greater prosperity,” he concluded. There was an approval by the oil block for a nine-month long extension of the decision for voluntary production adjustments at the fifth OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting in December of 2018 directly affecting the United States, China and Canada with a global oil cut.

In May, South Africa signed an oil exploration deal with South Sudan, the second such deal for Africa’s youngest country. More recently, Italian oil and gas company Eni renewed its agreement for the transport of Algerian gas to Italy via Tunisia, and won an offshore exploration concession in Ghana. It is noteworthy that Barkindo’s leadership and diplomacy has restored market stability and successfully sealed landmark agreements such as the declaration of cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC member countries. OPEC needs Barkindo in the years ahead to steer the ship of the cartel to an enviable height.