President Muhammadu Buhari handshaking outgoing OPEC secretary-general, Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

Hours after President Muhammadu Buhari poured an encomium on him, the secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo, is dead.

The passing away of the Mr Barkindo was announced early Wednesday morning by Mele Kyari, the CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) LTD on Twitter.

Mr Kyari said the deceased died Tuesday night and burial arraignment will be announced shortly.

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

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Mr Buhari had in a statement on Tuesday described the outgoing OPEC official as a worthy ambassador of the country after the duo met at the State House in Abuja.

“Your time in charge of the affairs of OPEC has been a very challenging one for the global oil industry,” the president was quoted by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, to have said. “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.”

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