21 July 2014, Vienna, Austria — It is with profound and deep sadness that the OPEC Secretariat has learnt of the passing away of Dr. Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman in Vienna during the early hours of this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Lukman’s family at this difficult time.
In a long and distinguished career encompassing more than five decades, Dr. Lukman was a servant to the Nigerian Government and its petroleum industry, and of course played a major role in the history of OPEC. He was widely recognized and highly regarded in the global petroleum industry; a loyal and dedicated man, who had the best interests of Nigeria and OPEC at heart.
His service to OPEC is a very long list. He was OPEC Secretary General for six years between 1995 and 2000 and served as President of the OPEC Conference on a record number of occasions between 1986 and 1989 and in 2002.
He garnered great respect among other Ministers and the staff at the OPEC Secretariat that worked with him at the Organization over the years. His commitment and service to OPEC is something to be praised and admired.
As OPEC Secretary General, there are many achievements that could be recognized. This includes helping guide the Organization through the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and 1998; managing OPEC’s participation with Member Countries in the very early United Nations COP meetings; overseeing the Second OPEC Summit of Head of State and Government in Venezuela in 2000; and helping evolve the producer-consumer dialogue.
Dr. Lukman will be fondly remembered, through his commitment and enthusiasm for Nigeria, OPEC and the petroleum industry, and his warm smile, amiable manner and positive outlook.