DPR Scores Nigerian Oil Industry High in Pandemic Mgt

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By Peter Uzoho

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said the Nigerian oil and gas industry performed above global average in the management of the coronavirus pandemic in their areas of operations in the country.

The DPR explained that the relative success was the result of the collective sacrifices of industry stakeholders in implementing enhanced measures of the recent circulars issued by it in line with the
guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The agency disclosed this at the weekend in its latest circular to oil and gas industry operators and industry service providers, which was made available to journalists by its Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Paul Osu, with the title: “RE: Management of COVID-19 Outbreak – Update 5”.

The department said by the same token, it was continually monitoring key indices across the industry vis-à-vis national outlook and regional/ global spread of the deadly virus.

“Accordingly, whilst recognising our modest achievements, we cannot rest on our oars given that we belong in a peculiar industry which is also the live wire of national economy.

“Consequently, we wish to reiterate that the contents of our earlier circulars (DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/48 dated 20th March 2020, DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/49 dated 23rd March 2020, DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/53 dated 22nd April 2020, DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/54 dated 30th April 2020) are still relevant.

“These include the requirements on offshore rotation cycle, for maintenance of transit centers and on COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation, amongst others.

“Other company-specific measures (not in conflict with the afore-mentioned DPR Guides) may be implemented subject to the department’s consent,” DPR said.

The agency, however, stated that it was imperative to reiterate that the collaboration of both industry unions -the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) were crucial in the continued implementation of the modified rotation schedule and other measures, especially in the face of resurgence of the virus in many parts of the world.

The DPR also enjoined the unions to sustain the same cooperative spirit with their respective management whilst each company should ensure work-life balance was maintained, provision of conducive work-place environment and timely payment of all renumerations and allowances to employees.

“None of the above measures should be an excuse for staff redundancy as we all work together through this challenging period.

“The department assures you of its continuous support and the implementation of measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your operations,” it added.