DPR: Govt Authorities Flouting Pandemic Protocols

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Peter Uzoho

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has declared that some officials of the government in the oil and gas industry are disregarding the protocols established to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The DPR in a circular issued yesterday to oil and gas industry operators on the management of COVID-19 outbreak forth update, however, stated that the industry has sadly recorded COVID-19 cases in some offshore and remote locations, with many of them linked to non-adherence to established protocols.

“We wish to commend your efforts in implementing stringent measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in your immediate environment and areas of operations in line with the government’s directives and circulars issued by the DPR.

“In spite of these efforts, the industry has sadly recorded COVID-19 cases in some offshore and remote locations, many of which are linked to non-adherence to established protocols.

“It is worrisome to note that some personnel of the government authorities do not subject themselves to the controlled isolation period which forms part of the protocol for the management of COVID-19 by operators prior to embarking to these locations,” DPR said.

According to the agency, “This act of non-compliance can severely disrupt activities in the industry, which is a critical sector of the Nigerian economy. Additionally, non-adherence to protocols puts everyone at risk as COVID-19 does not recognise profession, level or cadre.”

It said consequently, and pursuant to Regulation 45 of the Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulations 1969, no personnel, including government authorities, shall be permitted to embark on offshore/remote locations in the oil and gas industry without being fully subjected to established protocols.

It stated further that all operators were to ensure that evidence of compliance with the protocols by personnel travelling to offshore/remote locations is duly documented.

The regulator added that for the avoidance of doubt, no personnel shall be granted waiver of any sort, and that the new rule shall be strictly implemented with immediate effect.