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05 Jan 2017

OPEC Secretary General named ‘Man of the Year’

Vienna, Austria, 5 January 2017--OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, has been named ‘Man of the Year’ for 2016 by The Daily, the leading African online newspaper.

In a letter to the Secretary General, the publication stated that the honour was given every year to persons who made outstanding contributions with a lasting impact not only on the economies of nations but also globally.

“This year,” the letter announcing the award states, “the choice is anchored on your untiring efforts, your adoption of strategic measures, your making of diplomatic shuttles, your engagement with oil-producing and consuming nations, your holding of various fora and your positive actions – all of which culminated in the rise of crude oil prices from less than $30 to over $50 per barrel in the global oil markets.”

“With these and other feats, we are very optimistic that many multiplier effects, including new investments, new oil and gas finds, additional reserves, job creation, new technologies, capacity-building, and increased concerns for the environment, will become ever more positive,” it added.

Since taking up his position at the helm of OPEC on 1 August 2016, HE Barkindo has worked tirelessly with other senior officials of the Organization to bring about better conditions in the international oil market.

He has travelled the world over – to both OPEC and non-OPEC countries – to conduct shuttle diplomacy aimed at narrowing differences on how best to move forward and help speed up the long-awaited rebalancing of the oil market.

His untiring efforts culminated in the signing of three landmark OPEC agreements – the Algiers Accord in September, the Vienna Agreement in November and the Declaration of Cooperation between OPEC and some non-OPEC oil producing countries in December, which came into force on 1 January 2017 and which commits some 24 producers (13 OPEC, 11 non-OPEC) to a production cut of 1.8 million barrels of crude oil per day.

This is aimed at restoring stability by easing the market’s oversupply, reducing the stock overhang and speeding up the rebalancing of the market, which are seen as essential for helping to encourage new investment, which is vital to the future of both the petroleum sector and the global economy in general.

HE Barkindo, who was born in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria, has long ties with OPEC. A former long-standing OPEC National Representative for his country, he has served as OPEC Governor and also spent some time as Acting OPEC Secretary General.

The holder of a BSc (Hons) in political science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, he has a Post-Graduate Diploma in petroleum economics from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and an MBA in banking and finance from Washington University in the United States. He is also a fellow of George Mason University in the United States and holds an Honorary Doctorate in science (Honoris Causa) from the Modibbo Adama Federal University of Technology, Yola.

During his working career, HE Barkindo has occupied many key positions in Nigeria’s public and private sectors, including a period as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).