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Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim Secretary General, African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation

-By Danlami Nasir Isah

A Doctorate graduate of Rutgers University, New Jersey, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim started as a Graduate Assistant in the faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Bayero University Kano in 1981.

He began his media career in 1990 after he took a sabbatical from the University to become a member of the editorial board of the Daily Times Newspapers, an institution he worked for eight years in various capacities.

In 1999, he was appointed the Managing Director of the New Nigerian Newspapers Limited by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Dr. Omar Farouk obtained his first Degree in Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1980. He later had his Masters Degree in Bayero University Kano where he majored in Political Economy.

Dr. Farouk joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC in 2003 as the Head of Department of Public Relations and Information. In that position, he formulated a Strategic Communications Programme for the Organization and led the execution of a major Public Relations campaign for the Organization in the USA, Europe and China at a time of rising oil prices and intense criticism of OPEC from key Oil consuming countries.

During Dr. Farouk’s seven years at OPEC, he played significant roles in the transformation of the International public perception about OPEC. As the spokesperson of the Organization, he succeeded in building an excellent understanding of the workings of OPEC among key International media Organisations such as CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Al Jazeera etc.

On several occasions between 2008 and 2010, being the most senior Head of Department, Dr. Farouk had been privileged to oversee the activities of the OPEC Secretariat in the absence of the Secretary General.

In December 2009, while he was still at OPEC Secretariat, the then Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman requested the Secretariat to release Dr. Farouk to come and work with him as Advisor, a position he had retained with three successive ministers for nearly ten years. During these years, he coordinated the activities of Nigeria in all the intergovernmental energy Organisations to which Nigeria belongs, namely OPEC, GECF, IEF, APPO, WAGPA and the WPC.

It was in recognition of his expertise in International energy politics and intergovernmental energy relations that Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim was appointed Nigeria’s Governor for OPEC and Executive Board member representing Nigeria on the Board of Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, in 2015.

In December 2019, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim was appointed the Secretary General of African Petroleum Producers’ Organization, APPO. An accomplished oil and gas diplomat, a great image maker, and expert in international energy dynamics, Dr. Omar is married with children.