The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has introduced a compulsory programme referred to as the Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream operations (MISTDO).
It said the programme was initiated to safeguard operations in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Mr Paul Osu, Head, Public Affairs, DPR, made this known in a statement issued, on Sunday, amidst protest by marketers.
Osu said the MISTDO programme covers Depots, Petrol Stations, Product Pipelines, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants and Petroleum Trucks.
According to him, the programme was launched following extensive collaborations with relevant stakeholders including the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
Osu said it was a direct response to the upsurge in downstream sector accidents and operational mishaps leading to high casualty and fatality rates averaging 54 fatalities yearly within a five year period.
He said: “The objectives of MISTDO amongst others include to enforce and standardise basic training for downstream workers and to provide industry reference for prospective trainees.
“The programme requires robust accreditation of training centres for existing workers and new entrants into the downstream sector.
“Successful trainees are issued a certificate valid for two years at a negotiated cost between the trainees and the certified training centres.”
To this end, it noted that the DPR does not charge trainees for the MISTDO programme adding that to further ensure transparency of operations between the training centres and trainees, it mandated trainers to publish their cost of providing training on the MISTDO portal managed by DPR.
“The DPR wishes to restate that as the regulatory agency, we will continue to provide robust oversight for the safety of operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in line with global best practices to ensure business sustainability,” he added.
Meanwhile, Oil Marketers under the aegis of IPMAN protested a new charge by the DPR, for the renewal or acquisition of licences for petroleum products storage and sale outlets in the country.
In a statement by its Deputy National President, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, it said Marketers would resist any additional cost in the downstream sector.
It said MISTDO, fee which the DPR has introduced as a prerequisite to renew or to acquire a new storage and sales licence is another cost burden on retail outlet operators.
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