Mohammed Barkindo, newly appointed secretary-general of the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (OPEC), says the decision of the federal government to negotiate with militants has brought about peace in the region.
Speaking with state house correspondents at the end of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Barkindo aid though he would not want to preempt government’s action to resolve the crisis, it is clear that the decision has been yielding positive results.
“For me based on my own experience here, the option of carrot and stick as they call it I think is the way forward,” he said.
“Government I understand is negotiating, and we are beginning to see positive results. So, I don’t think it will be proper to preempt these discussions that are being handled by Dr. Kachukwu (minister of state for petroleum), but I remain confident that through these negotiations, stable and permanent solutions will be found to this problem.”
He described the Niger Delta region as very important to the country, saying government should be encouraged to sustain peace.
“The Niger Delta region is a very important part of our country and whatever we can do to address the challenges of development I think is the way forward,” he said.
“I have been told that production is beginning to rise again, so for us in OPEC this is the first thing we look at, how much is a member country producing. When we saw that production was falling in Nigeria as a result of recent challenges, the international community, the market also took note of that. But now I think things are beginning to come back to normalcy and I have seen some of your reports that are also very positive.”
Barkindo also thanked Buhari and Kachikwu for the roles they played in his emergence.
Barkindo is the third Nigerian to be elected the secretary-general of OPEC. The deceased Micheal Fadele and Rilwanu Lukman, have occupied the position in the past.