Since it was transferred from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources as its technical arm and renamed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) 30 years ago, issuance of licences, permits and renewals have been bedevilled with bureaucratic bottlenecks. The attendant effects have been delay in fuel imports, rig processing, construction at sites and many other challenges.
Today, with the launch of a central electronic licence and permit system, which is a repository system for managing the application and processing of all electronic permits and licences issued by the regulatory agency; all its processes have been digitalised, with the introduction of the Automated Downstream System (ADS). The ADS is made up of permits and licences issued in the retail outlet and marketing (ROM) unit, PDJ and HPP units. The implementation was phased with online processing of categories A, B, C licences starting first and followed by online processing of coastal vessel licence, also known as coastal vessel licence portal.
With the old manual system, application of the coastal vessel licence has been cumbersome and takes time before approvals, permits and licences are issued to qualified marketers. But the new system now implemented makes it easy for marketers to apply for the coastal vessel licence from anywhere and anytime. According to the head of downstream, monitoring and regulations of the DPR, Mrs Ijeoma Onyeri, the coastal vessel licence portal involves the automation of the application process, payments, inspections, presentations, approvals and inventory of issued permits and licences. She added that verification of permits and licences were now done on the coastal vessel licence portal to ensure accountability and a workflow that tracks every stage in the approval process. “The approach adopted for the design of the coastal vessel licence portal was to be simple and user-friendly.
It was also designed to be accessible on any desktop and mobile web browser. The technology used for the design and implementation of the licence portal allows for speedy loading and data submission. Document upload to the portal are in PDF and TIFF formats,” Onyeri said. She said the new scheme was in line with one of the visions of the agency’s director, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, that all paper-based approvals, permits and licences must be digitised and automated. A committee made up of representatives from PDJ and ICT units, with the mandate to design, develop and implement an online application system for processing of coastal vessel licence with the vendor selected by DPR, BrandOne Technologies Limited, was set up. “After several presentations and meetings, BrandOne Technologies Limited offered to commence the project, with a pilot test for the department to use the online coastal vessel licence portal for a period of three months.
The pilot proved to be very effective within the stipulated time, and the company was asked to deploy the live system on DPR’s Microsoft Azure Cloud infrastructure. The solution is currently online and can be accessed by the general public anywhere and anytime, using the URL <https://cvl.dpr.gov.ng>. The portal is integrated with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Payment Gateway (Remita) for online transaction, using debit/credit cards and bank branch payment in compliance with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government,” she said. The coastal vessel licence portal can be used to request for inspection where necessary. Applications continue through the workflow until it is approved and permit or licence is issued by the director, where necessary.
Each application has a unique number generated by the system and can be used to verify the permit/licence. Speaking on the benefits of the portal, the head of public affairs of the DPR, Paul Osu, said the introduction of the portal was in line with Federal Government’s Executive Order on ease of doing business. He added that this would further improve the turnaround time, as well as ease processing applications for coastal vessel licences, bring about transparency in the processing of licences, eliminate the duplication of document upload and work across zonal offices, as well as improve the ease of payment confirmation and reconciliation. For companies which profiles exist on ELPS-OGISP, all they will do is to log in to their existing accounts and apply for the portal. The agency has also launched a retail outlet and marketing portal, which is basically an automation of the application process, payments, inspections, presentations, approvals and inventory of issued approval, permits and licences.
Verification of approvals, permits and licenses is done on the marketing portal as this will ensure accountability and a workflow that tracks every stage in the approval process. According to Osu, all applications of various categories, such as petroleum storage licence, petroleum storage and sales licence and kerosene peddling licence can now process their licences using the platform. “With the old manual system, application for those categories of licence was cumbersome and took time before approvals, permits and licences were issued to qualified marketers. The new system implemented by the ROM Unit now makes it easy for marketers to apply for categories A, B licence from anywhere and anytime,” he said. Osu said the technology used for the design and implementation of the ROMS portal allowed for speedy loading and data submission. “For smooth transition from manual to digital application, a strong support team has been set up to provide a 24-hour support for the general public. The support that can be rendered to the general public is through email, phone calls and online chat,” he said. While acknowledging the benefits of the ROMS portal, Osu said the new scheme would improve the turnaround time, as well as ease processing applications for various categories of licences.
It brings about transparency in processing licences, eliminates the duplication of document upload and work across zonal offices, improves ease of payment confirmation and reconciliation. It also reduces the cost of printing manual permits/licences, cost of courier services from the 24-hour field offices to Lagos, as well as the influx of staff of companies applying for categories A, B, C permits and licences to the DPR. “Adopting this solution will further establish DPR’s commitment to change and innovation in the face of technological advancements under the leadership of the director, DPR. On behalf of the ROM unit and the entire downstream division, we enjoin all to use this portal and support the ongoing process in the digitisation and automation of all permits and licences processed by the division,” he said.
News Credit : www.dailytrust.com.ng