The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is working to ensure that only trucks that scale integrity tests and have good tracking system are deployed for petroleum haulage on Nigerian roads.
The Acting Director, DPR, Shakur Rufai made the disclosure at the agency’s 2019 stakeholders’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos.
The theme for this year’s AGM is ‘‘Ensuring a Safe Petroleum Products Transportation System’’.
Rufai represented by Sani Hassan, Deputy Director, Basinal Assessment and Lease Administration of DPR, said that the move was to regulate the activities of tanker drivers on the road.
He said that the essence of the AGM was to collaborate with all stakeholders in ensuring safe petroleum products transportation system across the country.
“The DPR thanks all stakeholders for ensuring products availability through the year; we hereby also implore everyone to work assiduously to ensure there is no scarcity as the year gradually draws to a close. Stakeholders are further enjoined to work with the government and agency in ensuring an accident-free Yuletide.”
“We, however, assure you that the agency will continue to work with all stakeholders to drive and enhance good business practices,’’ he said.
Rufai reiterated that the agency was taking proactive steps to find lasting solutions to the challenges of safe and efficient road distribution of petroleum products.
He said the meeting among stakeholders will proffer solution on the way forward to sanitize the downstream sector.
To this end, he said the DPR will continue to meet with the executives of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) and Independent Petroleum Product Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
Rufai said other critical stakeholders include the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN), Lagos State Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Federal and State Fire Services and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Also, Oluwole Akinyosoye, the Zonal Operations Controller, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Kwara and Osun States, said that the 2019 stakeholder’s AGM was to review the downstream operations, and discuss the possibility of providing solution to specific challenges currently facing the industry.
Akinyosoye said that the meeting focused on how to ensure a safe petroleum product transportation system in the downstream sector, and reduce accidents on Nigerian roads.
“There has been a surge in petroleum tanker incidents in recent times, leading to various degrees of losses. The persistent carnage from road haulage of petroleum products in our society is growing at a very alarming rate and this necessitated the choice of our theme for the AGM this year. I am confident that suggestions on the topic matter will be key in helping government on the way forward in this regard.”
He stated further that “Land transportation currently is the most widely used mode to move products in Nigeria, because of the challenges posed by over 4,000 km network of pipelines in the country. Specifically, issues of integrity, vandalism, and insecurity of pipelines have led to continued reliance on tanker trucks to move petroleum products, from one part of the country to another.”
In his remarks, Hyginus Omeje, FRSC Sector Commander in Lagos, commended DPR for bringing together the stakeholders in the downstream sector.
Omeje said that some of the trucks on Nigerian roads were not roadworthy, urging the AGM to proffer lasting solution to the problem.
According to him, “The problem is not only about the trucks, but the usage of the vehicles. Over 90 per cent of all the freight movement in Nigeria is by road. The inland waterways are not tapped, which also contributes to the challenges. Our pipelines would have been better option of product transportation, but it has been challenged with vandalism.”