DPR moves to address challenges in downstream sector through automation of processes


…Sets to launch Minimum Industry Safety Training

The Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan has said that the agency has continuously initiated projects and activities including automation of internal processes and external interface to ease licensing processes which ultimately reduces turnaround time and enhance transparency and accountability.

Ladan who made this known in an address at the 12th Oil Trading & Logistics Expo, Africa Downstream Week holding in Lagos stated that the move was in consonance with the ease of doing business policy of the government.

Represented by the Deputy Director of the Department, Mrs. Ijeoma Onyeri, Ladan remarked that the downstream sector was largely dominated by the indigenous and independent marketers especially with respect to retail outlets and petroleum storage capacity and therefore translated to a high number of operators and players.

He added that in addition to low domestic refining capacity, sub-optimal transportation of products using trucks, price regulation and multiplicity of regulators, the challenges in the sector that come with the high number of players includes; sharp practices at the retail outlet value chain, cross border smuggling of petroleum products and health and safety and environment concern.

“To address these challenges, the Department has continuously initiated several projects and activities starting with automation of internal processes and external interface to ease licensing processes which ultimately reduces turnaround time and enhance transparency and accountability. This is also firmly aligned with the ease of doing business policy of the government”, he said.

He further stated that following some incidences that happened in the industry which raised the safety question, the DPR would soon launch the Mandatory Industry Safety Training for downstream operation which is codenamed Minimum Industry Safety Training in the downstream sector to bridge knowledge gap in safety, improve safety culture and personnel competence in the sector.

While observing that the Department had introduced flag inspectors to improve operations monitoring of its facilities and had expanded operational spread by opening new offices across the country, the Director revealed that the Department recently, recruited more employees and had developed dedicated and targeted human capacity development.

He noted that through the review of guidelines and statutory requirements, the Department was able to manage crude handling duties between IOCs and investors using crude logs allocation formula adding that the Department had enhanced strict regulation to off take outlet licensing along border towns and was actively collaborating with government’s security forces  and other agencies to eliminate pipeline vandalism and to tackle the issue of low channel draught which according to him would improve the accommodation of bigger ships at the jetties thereby reducing ship to ship transfer during importation.

He continued,” Apart from tackling the challenges in the sector, government aspiration is to grow domestic refining capacity as encouraged by the licensing of the modular and conventional refineries. The main target is self-sufficiency in supply and improved innovative domestic distribution channel. We expect to transform the market to become regional in Africa with Nigeria as a hub. The government is also working on the use of the alternative sources of fuel like biofuels and sea engine for transportation.

“It is therefore our desire that the three day programme which promises to be a very interesting and interactive one, would provide the best occasion for the articulation of ideas that will translate to implementable policy to help to strengthen standard operating procedure in the industry. The Department is willing to take worthy suggestions and recommendations aside from the technical presentations and panel discussions, participating companies will be exhibiting technologies in every area of the sector and allied products and services. This is an avenue to also showcase the latest products in the sector on value addition”.

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