The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has given owners of petroleum products retail outlets a Dec. 31 ultimatum to migrate their operaions to its Downstream Remote Monitoring System (DRMS).
Mr Sarki Auwalu, Director, DPR, gave the ultimatum during a meeting between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and agencies in the petroleum sector on Thursday in Lagos.
Newsmen report that other agencies at the meeting included the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board.
Auwalu said: “The DRMS, also known as e-Station, is an inventory and regulatory tool that track product level across retail outlets and depots.
“The system also track the movement of products from depot to retail outlets.
“The app was developed in-house by DPR staffers to track products in order to curb cross border smuggling and diversion of products.
“We want every marketer to migrate into this platform and each of them will have their unique ID to monitor their activities.”
He noted that out of the 33,000 retail outlets registered with the DPR, only about 6,700 have migrated to the platform.
Auwalu said any outlet which failed to comply with the directive would have its license withdrawn and would not be allowed to load petroleum products at the depots.
He said the DRMS would bring sanity to the downstream sector of oil and gas industry.
Auwalu added that the move would also go a long way to complement the efforts of sister agencies in their bid to regulate the industry.
“We have been able to capture so many diversions, check overloading, under-dispensing and other illegal practices of operators, because with DRMS, we can track all the activities of these operators on our platform,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, EFCC, said there was need for synergy and collaboration among agencies in the petroleum sector to tackle the issue of oil theft.
Bawa, represented by Mr Abdulkerim Chukkol, Director of Operations, EFCC, said the agency was saddled with investigation of financial and economic crimes.
He said the oil and gas industry was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy and it was therefore the duty of the commission to protect the nation’s resources.
On their parts. Mr Ahmed Bobboi, Executive Secretary, PEF Management Board, Mr Abdulkadir Saidu, Executive Secretary, PPPRA and Mr Musa Lawan, Managing Director, PPMC, commended the DPR for the initiative.
They called for more engagements between the agencies and leveraging on the DRMS platform to achieve their mandates.