The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has decried the high level of non-compliance with the regulatory framework of the downstream sector by some key stakeholders.
The acting Director of the DPR, Mr Ahmad Shakur, said this at the Annual General Meeting of the Owerri zone of the DPR with stakeholders in the downstream sector on Thursday.
Shakur, who was represented by the Head of the Downstream Monitoring and Regulation, Mr Alaku Musa, said the trend had constituted major setbacks in the industry.
He stressed the need for collaboration amongst stakeholders in order to drive compliance.
He said the industry had been plagued with various challenges of operations and regulation including sub-optimal refining capacity utilisation, long-time neglect and under-utilisation of inland depots.
He added that this had given rise to an increase in importation of petroleum products at exorbitant costs.
Shakur said DPR had consciously embraced emerging trends by initiating and implementing several projects and activities starting with the automation of some processes and procedures to address challenges.
He said the introduction of digital technology to improve operations could change the oil and gas industry landscape, especially in driving economic viability and the future of the sector.
The director further stated that the department intended to use this to drive transformation through optimising their regulatory roles ranging from inspections, surveillance to monitoring compliance and enforcement.
While reassuring new and existing businesses, he reiterated the call for compliance with regulations and guidelines, especially as it concerned safety in various operations.
He warned that the department would not hesitate to use every regulatory tool at its disposal to ensure compliance.
Earlier, the Owerri Zonal Operations Controller, Mr Peter Ijeh, said the meeting was aimed at engaging and sensitising stakeholders to applicable regulatory requirements to promote ease of doing business.
Ijeh expressed the hope that the meeting would proffer solutions and consolidate the gains of the downstream sector.
He said the meeting would create awareness for the public, stakeholders and financial institutions on the opportunities in the downstream sector and educate consumers on their rights.
The controller stressed the need to embrace emerging trends and also for end users to adopt the highest safety standards in the consumption of petroleum and gas products.
Participants in the workshop included operations controllers of the five southeast states, petroleum dealers and representatives of their associations as well as financial institutions (NAN)