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OPEC Endorses Nigeria’s Diversification Agenda

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Secretary-General of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, has thrown his weight behind Nigeria’s ongoing efforts to diversify the economy and expand the agricultural sector.

The OPEC chief, who paid a courtesy visit on the Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Austria and Slovakia, Mr. Gazing Jessy Napmwang Dangtim, yesterday, noted that the future of Nigeria looks bright, particularly if the continued pace of diversification in Nigeria can be sustained.

Speaking on the current happening in the oil industry, Barkindo said the oil industry tends to move in cycles, which is a constant challenge to market fundamentals.

He therefore stressed the need for oil producers to work together to tackle the challenge of low oil prices.

Besides, contributions by members countries into the Fund for International Development (OFID) has reached $1billion.

Therefore, the Secretary-General declared his intention to work closely with OFID to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in developing countries.

As a result, he said, it is the general consensus of the industry that some form of coordination is needed among producers.

He recalled OPEC’s ‘founding fathers’, whom he described as “visionaries” who saw the wisdom of working together in order to support and promote market stability.

Today’s challenges, he said, are a reminder that producers need to “return to basics” and further enhance efforts at working cooperatively.

Also, Barkindo met with HE Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, Director-General of OFID, at the Fund’s headquarters in the Austrian capital.

Al-Herbish congratulated Barkindo on his new position as Secretary General.

He also commended him for the good coverage that OPEC has provided for OFID in the last edition of the Organisation’s magazine, the OPEC Bulletin. “I am very happy and pleased to see you back in Vienna leading OPEC,” Al-Herbish said.

The Secretary General thanked Al-Herbish for his hard work in leading OFID and implementing the various programmes the Fund has to stimulate ecnomic growth and alleviate poverty in developing countries. “OPEC is proud of the achievements of OFID,” said Barkindo.

Al-Herbish provided the Secretary General with a detailed explanation of OFID’s different programmes and focus areas.

He described its participation in projects, particularly in the areas of public and private sector lending, trade finance facility, and grant operations. He also spoke at length about OFID’s ‘Energy for the Poor Initiative”, which started in 2008 in recognition of the link between human development and energy use.

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