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“IPMAN’ll protest DPR’s MISTDO charges”

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"IPMAN'll protest DPR's MISTDO charges"

Alhaji Debo Ahmed


MISTDO designed to safeguard downstream operation – DPR

Stanley John

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, on Sunday, said it will protest the Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream Operations (MISTDO) which the Department of Petroleum Resources allegedly is trying to introduce as a prerequisite to renew or to acquire a new storage and sales license.

National Deputy President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN) Alhaji Debo Ahmed in a statement on Friday also said MISTDO is another cost burden on retail outlet operators.

He further alleged that the DPR has subtly introduced a cost-related training programme through consultants into the downstream retail market without due diligence.

According to him, IPMAN will not absorb any additional cost to the existing “multifarious” taxes, charges from some state and local governments all heap on petrol retail outlets in Nigeria.

He pleaded with the Minister and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Timipreye Silva respectively, to look into the issue before it snowballs into agitation.

Ahmed said, “The DPR is subtly introducing cost-related training programme through Consultants into the downstream retail market without due diligence.

“IPMAN will not absorb any additional cost to the existing multifarious taxes, charges from some State and Local Governments all heap on petrol retail outlets in this country.

The Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream Operations (MISTDO) which DPR is trying to introduce as a prerequisite to renew or to acquire a new Storage and Sales License is another cost burden on retail outlet operators.

“The DPR is charging N25,000.00 each for the training of pump attendant and N35,000.00 each for the training of a Station Manager. No matter how many pump attendants and the number of retail outlets. Without the Certificate of Training, a new filling station will not be approved or a license will not be renewed.

“The DPR has forgotten that, one of the requirements for Filling Station approval is Trained Attendants Letter from an already established Filling Station which practical aspect includes this DPR MISTDO.

“Moreover, employment turnover in Filling Stations are very high. Most pump attendants use filing station employment as a stopgap pending when another good job is secured.
On-the-job training is the best approach to this kind of high employment turnover sector of the oil industry which is practicalise for new entrants in the retail outlets.”

He added, “The DPR Director/CEO, Engr. Sarki Auwalu should also be reminded that, in the recent past, DPR arbitrarily increased their charges of renewal and obtaining new license astronomically. Probably, he is not aware of multiple charges from Local and State Government in all facets of a built filling station e.g. Approval to Build (ATB), Land Charges, Ground Rent, Setback, Signboard, Business Premises, Fire Certificate, Weight & Measure Fees and host of others, I cannot mention here.

“Engr. Auwalu should also know that there has not been any increase on marketer’s margin for the past 15 years on PMS whereas there has been a geometrical increase in the acquisition cost of PMS. The marketer’s margin on the aggregate when PMS was N97.00 per litre is the same margin when PMS is N165.00 per litre.

“On what profit margin do retail outlets absorb all these arbitrary costs running into hundreds of thousands? At this critical period when FG is preparing to deregulate the downstream, a government agency should not try to introduce extraneous charges that may work against the policy.

“It is within the purview of DPR to organize symposiums, refresher courses, and conferences to enlighten the retail outlet operators instead of introducing new charges through consultants.

“We are appealing to the Minister and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to look into this issue before it snowballs into agitation.”

But Head, Public Affairs, DPR, Mr. Paul Osu said DPR reiterated that MISTDO is a compulsory program introduced to safeguard operations in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

He added that the MISTDO program covers depots, petrol stations, product pipelines, LPG plants, and petroleum trucks.

He stated that the program was launched following extensive collaborations with relevant stakeholders including IPMAN, adding that it was a direct response to the upsurge in downstream sector accidents and operational mishaps leading to high casualty and fatality rates averaging 54 fatalities yearly within a five year period.

According to him, the objectives of MISTDO amongst others, include enforcing and standardize basic training for downstream workers and providing industry references for prospective trainees.

Osu said, “The program requires robust accreditation of training centres for existing workers and new entrants into the Downstream sector, where successful trainees are issued a certificate valid for two years at a negotiated cost between the trainees and the certified training centres. Please note that DPR does not charge the trainees for the MISTDO program.

“To further ensure transparency of operations between the training centres and trainees, DPR made it mandatory for trainers to publish their cost of providing training on the MISTDO portal managed by DPR

“The DPR wishes to restate that as the regulatory agency, we will continue to provide robust oversight for the safety of operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in line with global best practices to ensure business sustainability.”

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