Former Secretary General of Oganisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Dr. Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, passed away in the early hours of Monday in Vienna, the organisation said in a statement.
Rilwanu, who led OPEC between 1995 and 2000, was aged 75 at the time of death.
Born in Zaria, Kaduna State on 26 August 1938, Lukman trained as a mining engineer at the College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University), and then at Imperial College, London.
He earned a higher degree in mining engineering from the University of Mining and Metallurgy in Leoben, Austria in 1968, obtained a degree in Mineral Economics from McGill University, Montreal in 1978, and an honorary doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bologna in Italy.
His career in the oil industry spanned five decades, during which time he served as Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum before leading OPEC as secretary general and president.
He was Minister of Petroleum between 1986 and 1990 and returned to the role for two years in 2008.
After retiring from OPEC Lukman settled in Vienna, working as a consultant for international oil companies and traders.
Other posts held by Lukman include Minister of Mines, Power and Steel (1984 to 1985) under the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Foreign Affairs between January and September 1990 and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Electric Power Authority (1993–1994).
The cause of his death Lukman’s not immediately clear. Oil industry sources said he was thought to have battled illness for a long time.