DPR goes hard on illegal gas operators in Kogi, seals off 15 outletsTHE Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has flagged off the Oil and Gas Search, Rescue and Surveillance, SeRAS, Command and Control Centre, targeted at improving safety and operational efficiency in the petroleum industry.

Director, DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, who flagged off the programme in Lagos, Monday, disclosed that it was being implemented in collaboration with Omni-Blu Aviation Services Limited, in order to increase safety and revenue generation.

He noted that the Search, Rescue and Surveillance were critical to operations in the industry, and added that this necessitated the establishment of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre, NOGEC, which was inaugurated recently by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Specifically, he said: “If it is not safe, it cannot generate revenue, and if the revenue has to be constant, it has to be safe. This is why we have to create an insurance and assurance for all workers across the value chain, whether working off-shore and on-shore, either you are working for exploration and production, marketing or refining.

“The essence of this programme is to guarantee the safety of lives, while also guaranteeing for any emergency and, at the same time, provide medical services to victims that will be involved in the incident and, above all, it creates a cooperative agreement to reduce cost and enhance value for all the stakeholders.”

He maintained that the vision of the Buhari-led administration and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, was to open up Nigeria for business.

Auwalu said reducing the risk of operations in the oil and gas sector would attract more investors, which would enhance the country’s economic growth and development.

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The Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Nigeria, Akin Olateru, said Nigeria was a signatory to Annex 12 of the Chicago Convention, which requires the setting up of a programme like SeRAS. “Search and rescue is a big deal. It saves lives and property and enhances productivity, which should be taken seriously by any nation,” he said.

Similarly, retired AVM Muhammadu Muhammed, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said continued collaboration between DPR and the agency was critical to enhance safety.

Muhammed, represented by Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, Acting Coordinator, SouthWest Zonal Office, NEMA, said SeRAS would complement the efforts of NEMA in disaster management and reduction in the oil and gas industry.

Also, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, and Mr. Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Producers Group, commended DPR for establishing the programme.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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