West News Wire: The capital of Nigeria, Abuja, has lost its secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), according to the oil minister of that nation.

Mohammad Barkindo, a veteran of the Nigerian oil sector who led the organization through the formation of the OPEC+ alliance, was scheduled to leave his position as OPEC’s top executive after six years at the end of this month. He was 63.

Mele Kyari, the CEO of Nigeria’s National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), tweeted the information early on Wednesday. Two OPEC sources later confirmed it.

Kyari tweeted, “We lost our esteemed Dr. Muhammad Sanusi Barkindo.”

“He died at about 11pm yesterday 5th July 2022. 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.”

The cause of death was not known yet.

Barkindo’s career spanned over four decades and it included stints at NNPC and Nigeria’s foreign and energy ministries. He had returned to Abuja in preparation for a post-OPEC career.

Kyari said Barkindo died hours after meeting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and giving the main speech at an energy summit in Abuja.

His tenure as the head of OPEC has been marked by global shocks that battered the industry.

During his speech in Abuja, Barkindo said the oil and gas industry is “under siege” and still reeling from the enormous investment losses of recent years.

“In a very short time span, the industry has been hit by two major cycles the severe market downturn in 2015 and 2016, and the even more far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in his last address.

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