The Man Mohammad Barkindo

Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, was born on April 20, 1959 in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria.


He held a BSc (Hons) in Political Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State and Post Graduate Diploma in Petroleum Economics, Oxford, United Kingdom. Dr. Barkindo, held an MBA in Finance and Banking, Washington University, United States.  Dr. Barkindo, who was a Fellow, George Mason University, Fairfax VA, US, also held a Hon Doctorate Degree in Science (Honoris Causa), Modibbo Adama, Federal University of Technology, Yola.

His career

Between 1986–89, he was Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum Resources and Head, Office of the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Board. In 1990, Barkindo served (on secondment) as Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lagos.

He also served in various capacities in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group, spanning some 24 years, namely: – Head, International Investments, Investment Division, NNPC Headquarters (1992) – Head, International Trade, NNPC London – President Duke Oil Inc. – Chairman NAPOIL (1993–94) – General Manager, NNPC London Office (1993–97) – Managing Director/Chief Executive, HYSON/CALSON – an international trading arm of the NNPC (1998–2003) – Group General Manager Investments, NNPC Headquarters (2003–04) – Deputy Managing Director/Chief Executive, NLNG (2005).

In 2007, he was elevated to the position of Coordinator, Special Projects, NNPC. Between 2007 and 2009, he was also made to oversee all Federal Government projects vested in the NNPC.

Dr. Barkindo participated as a member of the Oil and Gas Industry Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) that produced the original draft of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (2008) and led the Transformation Programme of the NNPC as enshrined in the Oil and Gas Industry Reform Implementation Committee Report (2008).

Between January 2009 and April 2010, Barkindo served as Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC. He was the Special Assistant to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy (at various times) and served on several Boards of NNPC investee companies, such as banks, oil service companies and international trading companies.

His strides in OPEC

Between 1986–2010, he served at various capacities in OPEC. He was a Nigerian Delegate to OPEC Ministerial Conferences 1993–2008 and served as Nigeria’s National Representative on OPEC’s Economic Commission Board (ECB). In January–December 2006, he served as Acting OPEC Secretary General, before chairing the ECB from 2009–10. He became Nigeria’s Governor for OPEC and served as Adhoc OPEC Governor at various times.

Other activities

He also served as Chairman of the OPEC Task Force of the 15th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) and spearheaded OPEC/European Union dialogue on Energy Markets, Taxation and Environment An architect of the first Long Term Strategy (LTS) at OPEC Founder delegate to the formation of the African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) in Algiers, Algeria, in 1986.

He was also a Delegate to the African Petroleum Producers Association, APPA Ministerial Conferences from 1987 to 2010. He was the pioneer member of the International Energy Forum (IEF), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He helped strengthen and consolidated OPEC/non-OPEC cooperation and dialogue Climate change and led Nigeria’s technical delegations to the climate change negotiations since their inception in 1991 that produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC.

He was the only Nigerian Delegate to attend all 15 Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC from Conference of the Parties, COP1 in Berlin 1995 to COP15 in Copenhagen 2010.

In 2002, he served as Coordinator, Group of 77 and China at UNFCCC Elected Vice-President of the Conference of the Parties at COP13 of the UNFCCC in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007 and was re-elected Vice-President at COP14 in Poznan, Poland, in December 2008.

Dr. Barkindo, who was re-elected Vice-President at COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009, participated at the UNFCCC COP 22 (Marrakesh 2016), COP 23 (Bonn 2017) and COP 24 (Katowice2018). His hobbies included reading, charity work, the environment and soccer.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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