The outgoing Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, expressed confidence that the worst is over and that the future looks very bright for the organization which has survived the major turmoil between 2016 and 2020.
He spoke on Tuesday when he was received by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
Barkindo attributed his success to the tremendous guidance, charisma and international gravitas of President Buhari, the support of the OPEC secretariat in Vienna and the cooperation of the organization’s members.
He recalled how President Buhari’s guidance contributed to the birth of the OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Producing Countries Declaration of Cooperation, after he took office in Vienna, Austria, in 2016 during of a slowdown in the sector when oil prices plunged to less. more than 10 US dollars per barrel.
”It was very obvious to me that this was not just about OPEC. We had to get support from other major oil producers around the world. I remember consulting you and drinking from your fountain of wisdom and your deep reservoir of knowledge about OPEC and world affairs.
”With your advice and guidance, I have traveled to different capitals around the world to try to persuade them to understand the seriousness of the situation and the need for them to join OPEC urgently.
”I explained to them that they did not have to be full members of OPEC but we could work together in a framework of cooperation and on December 10, 2016, we signed this historic agreement in Vienna and on January 1, we started by working together and we were able to help the oil market restore stability.”
The former OPEC secretary general noted that the statement of cooperation, now in its sixth year, also helped the organization navigate the market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
He explained that in the midst of COVID-19, the organization made the decision to withdraw 9.6 million barrels per day from the market – the highest adjustment ever in its history – for two years. .
He added that OPEC is now in the final round of restoring production numbers due to a rebound in the global market and economy.
In his speech, President Buhari expressed the nation’s gratitude to the outgoing OPEC Secretary General, describing him as a worthy ambassador for the country.
The President, in a statement released by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said posterity will remember him with kindness for making himself and the nation proud during his six years of meritorious service at the helm of the business as Nigeria’s 4th OPEC Secretary General.
The President directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to mobilize the oil and gas industry to hold a proper welcome reception in honor of Barkindo.