By Solomon Asowata
Lagos, Oct. 24, 2020 The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says the Nigerian oil and gas industry’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic in its operations is above global industry average.
The DPR has also called for continued collaboration with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG)and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) toward its sustenance.
The regulatory agency made these known in a circular to All Oil and Gas Industry Operators and All Industry Service Providers dated Oct. 16 and obtained on Saturday in Lagos.
“The DPR is pleased to acknowledge the superior performance of the Nigerian oil and gas industry in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in our areas of operations, which, from our records, is above global industry average.
“This relative success is the result of our collective sacrifices in implementing enhanced measures of the recent Circulars issued by DPR in line with the Guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“By the same token, the department is continually monitoring key indices across the industry vis-à-vis national outlook and regional/ global spread of the deadly virus, ” the agency said.
The DPR noted that whilst recognising the modest achievements, the industry could not rest on its oars given its peculiarities and being the live wire of the national economy.
It said : ” Consequently, we wish to reiterate that the contents of our earlier circulars (DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/48 dated March 20 , DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/49 dated March 23 , DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/53 dated April 22, DPR/1160/A/Vol.II/54 dated April 30) are still relevant.
” These include the requirements on offshore rotation cycle, for maintenance of transit centers and on COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation, amongst others.
“Other company-specific measures (not in conflict with the afore-mentioned DPR Guides) may be implemented subject to the department’s consent.
“At this juncture, it is imperative to reiterate that the collaboration of both industry unions (PENGASSAN and NUPENG) is crucial in the continued implementation of the modified rotation schedule and other measures, especially in the face of resurgence of the virus in many parts of the world.”
The DPR enjoined the unions to sustain the same cooperative spirit with their respective management.
According to the agency, each company should ensure work-life balance is maintained, provide conducive work-place environment and timely payment of all remunerations and allowances to employees.
It said: “None of the above measures should be an excuse for staff redundancy as we all work together through this challenging period.
“The DPR assures you of its continuous support and the implementation of measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your operations.”