Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is to step up surveillance on illegal sales of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The Oil Police therefore warned those indulged in the criminal act to desist from it henceforth.
Operations Controller, DPR, Warri Zonal Office, Mr. Antai Asuquo gave the warning recently, during the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the DPR, Warri Zonal Office held at Ugboroke Community near Warri, Delta.
Speaking to newsmen at the sideline of the meeting, Asuquo said the action was discouraging to the LPG business operators.
He said the federal government had committed so much resources to grow and expand gas utilisation in the country but noted that black market operators are becoming a threat to that sector.
“Black market gas distribution potent a serious danger to the gas sector. The sector is one the Federal Government is putting resources to grow and expand gas utilisation in the country.
“When we have this incidence, it discourages people. We must ensure this business is done in safe and sustainable manner and that is one of the essence of this AGM.
“We will continue to increase our surveillance activities to ensure sharp practices in the downstream sector is eliminated. We encourage the public to notify us whenever they notice any illegality. We have destroyed some locations and barred some trucks from lifting products
“Henceforth, we will impound the trucks involved and the company will take full responsibilities of their drivers,” he said.
The Director and Chief Executive Officer at DPR, Engr. Sarki Auwalu, urged stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to key into the federal government’s electronic platform as well as information technology application to improve efficiency of their operations.
Auwalu, who was represented by DPR, Operations Controller, Port Harcourt Zonal Officer, Mr. Bassey Nkanga, explained that the platform was rolled out to add values to the stakeholders’ operational activities and also improve the ease of doing business.
“These electronic tools are being deployed in phases. They are software with multiple interface that enables interactions on operations activities between stakeholders.
“This is in accordance with the government’s mantra of improving ease of doing business and digitalisation of processes in all the sectors of the economy.
“I urged you to take advantage of this opportunity by adopting and utilising these tools in your operations for improved efficiency and sustainable development of the sector in accordance with global best practices,” he said.
The theme of the event was: “Oil and Gas safe Operations and Compliance: DPR a Business Enabler”.
Mr. Amalu Tobechukwu from the department of Establishment, Monitoring and Regulations, DPR Warri office, while presenting the activities of the agency, urged operators to avoid LPG Cylinder to Cylinder rebottling and decanting.
He also said DPR has commenced online application system to ease the process of filing applications and urged the stakeholders to take advantage of it.
On his part, Mr Tamigbe Francis, Divisional Fire Officer, Warri Fire Station, urged stakeholders to have fire extinguishers in their business premises.