DPR to enforce minimum industry safety training for downstream operations
The agency said the move was necessitated by the rising cases of petroleum tanker accidents as well as gas explosion incidents leading to loss of lives and property across the country.
Mr Sarki Auwulu, Director, DPR, issued the directive on Monday in Lagos at the inauguration of MISTDO programme, designed by the agency to deepen safety training in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
He said “Effective Sept. 1, the department shall commence enforcement of MISTDO for all downstream operations and facilities.
“This include Liquefied Petroleum Gas stations, retail outlets, petroleum product depots, jetties, lube plants, industrial gas users and petroleum truck drivers and motor boys.”
According to him, the enforcement will begin in Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Nasarawa and Gombe, adding that no personnel would be permitted to engage in downstream operations without the MISTDO training.
Auwulu said effective Jan. 1, 2021, the compliance would be extended nationwide while renewal or obtaining of new permits for every downstream facility would also be based on the criteria.
He said:” The growth of Nigeria’s downstream sector has resulted in increase of incidents leading to loss of lives, damage to properties and environmental pollution.
“Some of these incidents have come from fallen tankers, petrol station fires, gas explosion and vandalism.
“Our records show that 70 per cent of accidents in the Nigerian oil and gas industry between 2013 and 2019 occurred in the downstream sector.
“To reverse this trend, the department has put in place enhanced regulatory strategies for downstream facilities’ development and operations monitoring targeted at the People, the Process and the Equipment. ”
According to him, the MISTDO Programme is specially designed to target workers in the downstream sector including petroleum tanker drivers and motor boys.
Auwulu said this was because investigations into reported incidents in the sector show that the underlining cause was poor safety culture of workers and lack of knowledge which revealed serious training gaps.
He said the DPR engaged critical stakeholders before coming up with the programme which has been developed in the three Nigerian major languages for easy understanding by all workers in the downstream sector.
The director said inputs were sought from Oil and Gas Training Providers, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN).
He said contributions were also made by Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
In their goodwill messages, Sen. James Manager, Chairman Senate Committee on Gas and Mr Alex Egbuna, Vice Chairman, House Committee on Downstream Operations, both commended the DPR for the initiative.
The lawmakers said improving safety in the production, storage and distribution of petroleum products to end users would not only protect the lives and assets of Nigerians but it would also boost the nation’s economy.