Why Barkindo may emerge OPEC scribe
There are indications Nigeria’s candidate for the position of Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Barkindo, might clinch the job.
Barkindo was nominated last week by the Federal Government to contest the office at the ordinary OPEC conference billed for June in Vienna, Austria. Of the candidates vying for the position from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ecuador, Iraq and Indonesia, Barkindo is the most experienced, because of his past dealings with the oil cartel.
Nigeria began the move to nominate its citizen as the next scribe in 2012, when the two-term tenure of the Libyan incumbent Secretary General, Abdallah el-Badri, came to an end. El-Badri was appointed in December 2006 with a three-year mandate, which was renewed in 2009, to end in 2013. Due to failure of the cartel to agree on his replacement, he was offered a one-year extension followed by another six months, which expired on January 1, 2016.
The Guardian can exclusively report that Barkindo was nominated owing to his experience at OPEC since 1986. He started his career as a member of the Nigerian delegation to OPEC in 1986 when the late Dr. Rilwanu Lukman was Minister of Petroleum Resources.
He was on that duty when he became the National Representative to OPEC between 1993 and 2008. Between that period, he was the Deputy Managing Director of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), from where he was appointed acting Secretary General between January 1 to December 31, 2006.
Barkindo became the acting Secretary General in January 2006 after Edmund Dakouru. At that time, the Conference President was nominated to perform the functions of the Secretary General, following disagreement over who was to be appointed scribe.
As Group Managing Director, Barkindo led the NNPC transformation agenda, which entailed moving NNPC from an operator into a profit centre. The efforts culminated in the unbundling of the parastatal.