Mohammad Barkindo
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Oil & Gas - July 6, 2022

Mohammad Barkindo: 5 Things You Should Know About the Late Sec-Gen of OPEC

Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was announced dead on the 5th of July 2022. This followed his short visit to Nigeria’s President, Mohammadu Buhari.

The death, which was announced via a tweet by the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, comes as a shock.

Kyari said, “We lost our esteemed Dr Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo. He died at about 11 pm yesterday, 5th July 2022. Certainly a great loss to his immediate family, the NNPC, our country Nigeria, the OPEC, and the global energy community”.

Here are some things you should know about the late secretary-general of OPEC, Mohammad Barkindo.

1. He’s well-read

The late sec-general of OPEC was born and raised in Yola, the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. He earned his BSc (Hons) in Political Science from Ahmedu Bello University in 1981.

Barkindo later attended the College of Petroleum Studies at Oxford University and obtained his Diploma in Petroleum Economics and management in 1988.

In 1991, He received his master’s degree in business administration (MBA) in Finance and Banking from Washington University in the United States of America.

2. He’s held different roles in OPEC

The late secretary-general of OPEC occupied different offices in the intergovernmental organisation.

From 1993 to 2008, Barkindo served as a Nigerian Delegate to OPEC Ministerial Conferences and as Nigeria’s National Representative on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board (ECB). 

He was also the Acting OPEC Secretary-General in 2006 before serving as the chairman of ECB for a year: from 2009 – 2010. He was appointed the Adhoc OPEC Governor and, afterwards, Nigeria’s OPEC Governor.

On August 1, 2016, Mohammad Barkindo assumed the position of Secretary-General of OPEC, which he held until his passing on June 5, 2022.


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3. He’s Served in both national and international capacity

Barkindo’s service in the Nigerian public sector dates back to the 80s. He served as the Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Head of the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Board from 1986 – 1989. 

He occupied international positions such as the General Manager, NNPC London Office from 1993 – 1997; Managing Director/Chief Executive, HYSON/CALSON (an international trading arm of the NNPC) from 1998–2003; Group General Manager Investments, NNPC Headquarters from 2003 – 2004; and Deputy Managing Director/Chief Executive, NLNG in 2005.

From 2009 to 2010, he was appointed as the Group Managing Director and CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

4. He died in the final weeks of his six years tenure

The 63-year-old Barkindo gave up the ghost a few weeks before the end of his six years term as the secretary-general of OPEC. He was the senior diplomat of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, overseeing the Vienna-based secretariat.

His successor, Haitham Al-Ghais, is scheduled to take over as Secretary-General at the beginning of August.

5. Honorary positions

Mohammed Barkindo is an honorary professor of CEPMLP, School of Social Sciences from the University of Dundee.

He was a fellow at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, United States. He also has an honorary doctorate in science from the Modibbo Adama Federal University of Technology, Yola.


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