As subsidy costs weigh down government interventions due to rising consumption of premium motor spirit (PMS) occasioned by smuggling and sharp practices in the downstream sector, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has set a December deadline for filling stations to register on its Downstream Remote Monitoring Systems (DRMS), as a requirement for licence renewal.
DRMS, also known as e-Station, is an inventory and regulatory tool that tracks product levels across retail outlets and depots. The system also tracks the movement of products from depots to retail outlets using a USSD code *7117#.
The Chief Executive Officer, DPR, Sarki Auwalu, stated that so far out of the 33,000 filling stations registered on its network, only 6700 have been registered.
The DPR boss stated this at a critical government agencies and stakeholders’ engagement in Lagos.
In his words: “No filling station licence renewal will be done. We have already told them that every filling station must key into the DRMS. We are migrating every filling station into the DRMS.
“So far, only 6,700 stations have been registered, while the remaining 26,300 have till December, this year to get on the network. It is now compulsory for all filling stations to be registered on our systems.”
According to him, any filling station that fails to key into the platform will not be allowed to load at the depots, saying that the DRMS would bring sanity to the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
He added that the move would also go a long way to complement the efforts of sister agencies in their bid to regulate the industry.
“We have been able to capture so many diversions, check overloading, under-dispensing, and other illegal practices of operators because, with DRMS, we can track all the activities of these operators on our platform,” he added.
Responding, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, represented by the Director of Operations, EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, said the stakeholders’ meeting was to strengthen the relationship with DPR for transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector, pointing out the need to ensure the efficient management of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.
“We need to engage with stakeholders because this industry is the mainstay of the national economy and we are proud to protect the resources,” he said.
Executive Secretary, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulation Agency (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Saidu Umar, said operators and regulatory agencies must use the partnership as a veritable tool to achieve the mandate of the Federal Government to drive gas development.