Monday, July 21, 2014 8:39 pm
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has said the country “will always owe a huge debt of gratitude to the late Petroleum Minister, Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, for his very significant contributions to the development of the country’s oil and gas industry, and for serving with acclaimed distinction as the nation’s representative at the helm of OPEC affairs over many years.”
President Jonathan highlighted the notable achievements of Alhaji Lukman at the news of his death Monday, while expressing sadness, stating that it is “a great national loss”.
A press statement by Presidential spokesperson Dr. Reuben Abati said:
“President Jonathan commiserates with the former minister’s family, the Government and people of his home state, Kaduna, as well as his friends, associates and all those he mentored over the years in the domestic and global oil industry.
“The President shares their sorrow as they mourn the brilliant engineer, technocrat and administrator who spent almost all of his working life serving his country and the global community in various capacities including Minister, Special Adviser, Secretary-General and President of the Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“As Alhaji Lukman’s soul returns to its Maker, President Jonathan joins all who knew him in giving thanks to God Almighty for bestowing him on the nation and for the great intelligence, integrity, competence and humility with which he distinguished himself in all his national and international assignments.
“President Jonathan prays that the Almighty God will receive Alhaji Lukman’s gentle soul and grant him eternal rest in Paradise.”
Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, trained as a mining engineer at the College of Arts, Science, and Technology, Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University), and later attended the Imperial College, London. He held various ministerial positions before his appointment as secretary of OPEC for a period of five years. He also served as minister undet late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.