The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has given marketers two months to weed out illegal retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas for the safety of lives and property in the country.
Mr Abubakar Buba, Abuja Zonal Operations Controller, disclosed this at the DPR 2019 Annual Stakeholders’ General meeting, held in Abuja, on Thursday.
The theme of the meeting is “Safety awareness as a panacea to accident free operations in the oil and gas sector”.
Buba said that the DPR and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) had agreed that the union must ensure that all illegal retailers were weeded off the system.
According to him, the agreement takes effect Feb. 6.
“Yes, we have this understanding effective today, we agreed that they are going to flush out all the unregistered retailers that are all over Abuja and the country at large.
“We also agreed that the ones that are going to regularise will come and regularise within these two months, so that they get their licence.
“The union and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have agreed that they are going to flush them out completely,” he said.
He noted that the DPR also agreed with the union to sensitise its members to the dangers of illegal retailers of LPG in uncertified environment.
He reassured that the DPR was ready to issue licences to those who were willing to regularise or register their businesses after due compliance to the policy.
“Site suitability is very important for LPG retail,” he said.
Commenting on the meeting, Buba, said that the theme of the meeting was apt considering the recent happening in the country and the need for safety in the oil and gas sector.
“The Department has noticed during routine inspections that some companies make use of untrained attendants or use unaccredited vendors to train their attendants.
“This is unacceptable and I will like to use this opportunity to advise that only accredited vendors can be used for such training,” he said.
According to him, the need to enforce safety in the system remains paramount to the DPR.
He said that the Department would soon launch an initiative called Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream operators (MISTDO).
This, he said, was part of initiatives to improve the safety of lives and property in the downstream operations in the industry.
Mr Alexendria Stephen, Principal Organising Secretary of NUPENG , said that the group identified the issue of safety while in discussion with the DPR as a major concern to both the public and the operators.
“So, we have agreed that there are quacks amongst those in the business, who because of loss of jobs in the informal sector came to join the business.
“Those people require training but where they locate their facility is not licensed by DPR; we know them and we have agreed with DPR to assist in getting those people off the streets.
“We have asked for time, our suggestion is to give us three months but DPR is insisting that two months should be enough to achieve that.
“But the bottom line is to start first, wherever we get to in two months we will let them know,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Sarki Auwalu, DPR Chief Executive Officer, said that DPR was committed to ensuring effective management of the value chain through facilitating a safe, secure and enabling business environment.
He said this would ensure sustainable development of the sector in a professional, accountable and transparent manner.
He noted that Nigeria with its population needed to exploit existing business options and continue to create new business values.
“This is the reason for this year’s theme which is of immense importance.
“It is not only apt but indeed timely and relevant to contemporary developments in the industry,” he said.