Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Sanusi Barkindo, has received the International Petroleum Diplomacy Person of the Year 2020 Award at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS)
Speaking during the award, Barkindo said it was a testimony to the fact that that he was not mistaken when he decided to join the industry, noting that he was deeply humbled and honoured to be bestowed with the award.
He expressed gratitude to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources; the supervising Minister of State, Mr. Timipre Sylva; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, as well as the organisers and sponsors of NIPS, titans of industry and everyone involved in the event.
"I interpret this award as a recognition of the teamwork, dedication and selflessness of a remarkable group of countries: namely, the Declaration of Cooperation (DOC) strategic partners.
"Working with the statesmen, leaders and representatives of the OPEC member countries and the non-OPEC producing countries has been the honour of a lifetime," he stated.
He described OPEC as a team, the sum of its parts, stressing that he was glad that member countries recognise the importance of unity and group cohesion and to take actions towards a collective good, in the interests of producers, consumers and the global economy.
According to him, the non-OPEC countries that have worked so closely with the cartel over the last five years, have been remarkable exemplars of the best principles of international cooperation: respectfulness, responsibility and commitment to carefully choosing the most appropriate course of action.
"And of course, we cannot speak of an OPEC team without honouring the hardworking women and men at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna. I dedicate this award to them. The team at the secretariat never cease in their relentless dedication, commitment to duty and achieving the highest standards in service excellence," he noted.
He said that for all of the changes OPEC has lived through together in recent times, one thing that remains solid is the organisation's six-decade long commitment to working with any stakeholder, promoting dialogue, and fostering partnership in the interests of producers, consumers and the health of the global economy.
Barkindo added that the pandemic has served to strengthen the OPEC article of faith that is integral to the organisation.
"As I mentioned in my remarks at the beginning of the summit, the 50th anniversary of Nigerian membership of OPEC, which we will celebrate in July, is an important opportunity to reflect on the many accomplishments over the five decades and gives thanks for the ways in which Nigeria and OPEC have contributed to one another's betterment.
"On a final note, although it might not be fashionable to say it, I would like to emphasise how proud I am to work in the petroleum industry. In daily life, oil is taken for granted. Often it seems it is only in the headlines for negative reasons. But our commodity matters" Barkindo said.