The Department of Petroleum Resources has said fuel marketers and gas plant owners who fail to meet the minimum safety training requirements will lose their licences starting from September.
The Director/Chief Executive Officer, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, who said this on Monday, lamented the spate of accidents in the downstream sector of the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Auwalu spoke in Lagos at the launch of the Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream Operations, a programme designed by the agency to deepen safety training in the sector.
He said the growth of the downstream sector had 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,” he said.
Auwalu said to reverse this trend, the DPR had put in place enhanced regulatory strategies for downstream facilities development and operations monitoring targeted at the people, the process and the equipment.
He said, “Effective September 1, 2020, the department shall commence enforcement of MISTDO for all downstream operations and facilities, including LPG stations, retail outlets, petroleum product depots, jetties, lube plants, industrial gas users and petroleum truck drivers and motor boys in Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Rivers, Imo, Enugu, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Nasarawa and Gombe.
“This implies that no personnel shall be permitted to engage in downstream operations without MISTDO training at facilities located in these states.”
He said compliance would be extended nationwide on January 1, 2021.
“In addition, effective January 1, 2021, the staff training requirements for every downstream facility operations licence or permit (new or renewal) shall be based on MISTDO,” Auwalu added.
According to him, the programme mandates all downstream workers to undergo safety trainings at any DPR approved and published safety training provider of their choice in accordance with their job roles and the likely hazards they will encounter at work.
“The trainings are categorised into different modules and levels, which are dependent on the category of workers and each module/level has a fixed validity period. We have established a robust portal which connects operators, prospective trainees, the Department and approved training providers,” he said
The DPR boss said investigations into reported incidents in the sector showed that the underlining cause was poor safety culture of workers and lack of knowledge which revealed serious training gaps.
He said, “These training gaps have made it difficult for workers to prevent or mitigate incidents when they occur, thereby escalating its consequence.