The Nigerian petroleum industry on Wednesday in Abuja held a night of tributes for the departed Dr Mohammed Barkindo, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Barkindo passed on in Abuja on Tuesday at the age of 63.
He was buried on Wednesday in Yola, Adamawa State, in accordance with Islamic rites.
Speaking at the ceremony which coincided with the 2022 Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Award, Mr Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., said Barkindo’s demise was a shock to the industry.
Represented by Mr Adetunji Adeyemi, the Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC, Kyari prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Mr Mike Sangster, the Managing Director, TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Ltd., said the loss was for the family, the country Nigeria, the oil and gas industry and the world at large.
Sangster who was represented by Mr Charles Ebereonwu, the Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies Nigeria, described Barkindo as a humble and hardworking man who made enormous contributions to the oil and gas industry.
“All we can do is to pray for the family for the fortitude to bear the loss and the Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest,” he said.
Also, Mr Rick Kennedy, the Chairman, Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), described Barkindo as a true giant of the industry.
Kennedy said the contributions of the departed global energy leader could not be overemphasised, adding that his death was a huge loss to the sector.
On his part, Mr Osagie Okunbor, the Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, said Barkindo was an iconic figure in the oil and gas industry whose death came as a very rude shock to stakeholders.
Okunbor said OPEC was able to overcome multiple crisis due to his outstanding leadership, adding that he made Nigeria and Nigerians proud on the global stage.
In his tribute, Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, said Barkindo was a role model and someone worthy to be admired.
“He was the icon of our time. His death is a great loss to Nigeria. God knows best. When our time is up, there is nothing we can do.
“He has played his part and we can only continue from where he stopped,” Wabote said.