PIA clearly provides for safe workplace – FG

Mr Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive, NMDPRA,

The Federal Government says the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 clearly provides for a healthy and environmentally conscious workforce and safe workplace for business to thrive in the oil and gas industry.

Mr Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive (ACE), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said this on Thursday in Abuja.

Ahmed made this known at the maiden edition of the Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Managers forum for the Midstream and Downstream Operators in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria.

The forum, organised to probe into HSE challenges facing sustainable development of the industry, will provide framework for innovative and practical solutions to these challenges for the benefit of our environment, workforce, host communities and investment initiatives.

The ACE, while underscoring the critical role HCE could play, said the statutory provisions of the PIA on HSEC administration clearly indicated that the government appreciated the importance of a healthy and environmentally conscious workforce.

This, according to him, led to the creation of a directorate to manage the Health Safety Environment and Community matters in the mid and downstream value chain.

“In the past, the regulator and the industry through this platform exchanged ideas, thoughts and deliberated extensively on topical operational related HSE issues which yielded positive results as well as fostered relationship between the industry and the regulator specifically on HSE issues,” he said.

The ACE, however, said it was in this regard that the Authority decided to revive the forum to build on its past achievements, adding that the emergence of the forum was in response to a heightened environmental consciousness and global need for sustainable development in the industry.

“The oil and gas industry has for several decades maintained a pride of place at the top of the global energy mix despite the threat posed by renewable and cleaner energy sources.

“However, recent concerns about global warming, exponential improvements in the efficiency of renewable energy alternatives and the politics of oil pricing have combined to pose almost an existential threat to the global petroleum industry.

“The threats of renewable energy sources which in the past were almost always dismissed by energy industry experts have today become more real than ever.

“As we speak, some of the big International Oil Companies are funding gigantic research into alternative fuels. As sweet as Nigeria’s crude are renown to be globally, recently we lost our valued customers, and again buyers are now competing with us in the same market space as suppliers.

“Nigeria is to continue to benefit from its vast petroleum resources, now more than ever is the time to build sustainability into our oil and gas value chain as well as management of its wastes.

“And, this task rests on the shoulders of not only the Regulators but all stakeholders. It is thus fitting that all the theme for this maiden edition of the HSE Managers forum for Mid and Downstream operators is: “LETS BEGIN,” he said.

He urged the participants to come up with a communique that would reflect collective commitment to sustainable development, with actionable ideas and recommendations for enhancing the HSE performance of the industry.

In an remark, Captain John Tonlagha, Executive Commissioner, HSEC, Nigerian Upstream, Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), said the forum was tailored towards addressing the Midstream and Downstream operational and regulatory issues in the industry.

He said the platform which was emplaced in the then Department of Petroleum Resources era had served as a veritable tool to bridge the gap between the regulator and the entirety of the value chain in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“Having put the HSE Managers’ forum into proper perspective based on its gains that we in the commission can attest to, I believe that the NMDPRA and all the players in this industry are on lasting partnership.

“This will consolidate gains of the PIA and institutionalise key and laudable HSE related programmes that will further help in the actualisation of our collective mandate,” he said. (NAN)

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