The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has given owners of the registered 33,000 petroleum products retail outlets a December 31 ultimatum to migrate their operations to its Downstream Remote Monitoring System (DRMS).
The DRMS platform is to help check cross border smuggling and diversion of petroleum products as it helps to track product levels across retail outlets and depots.
The ultimatum was given by the Director/Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, during a meeting between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and agencies in the petroleum sector on Thursday in Lagos.
The meeting had other agencies which include the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) Management Board.
What the DPR Director is saying
Auwalu in his statement 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 tracks 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.”
The DPR boss 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Auwalu said any outlet which failed to comply with the directive would have its license withdrawn and would not be allowed to load petroleum products at the depots.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 the oil and gas industry adding that the move would also go a long way to complement the efforts of sister agencies in their bid to regulate the industry.
He said, “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.’’
The EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was represented by EFCC Director of Operations, Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol said there was need for synergy and collaboration among agencies in the petroleum sector to tackle the issue of oil theft.
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.
The ability of the Federal Government to track the supply of petroleum products across the country is a welcome development as it will help check sharp prices by the retail marketers and smuggling of the products.
The smuggling of petrol has lead to a sharp increase in daily consumption and subsidy payment by the federal government.