The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has announced the postponement of implementation of new registration fees for oil and gas trainings in the country till further notice.
The Director and Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, disclosed this recently, during a webinar session organised by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN), with the focus on “The Nigerian Oil and Gas Landscape: A World of Opportunities for Investments and Partnerships”.
Auwalu, explained that the postponement was necessitated by the current economic hardship being experienced by businesses and individuals including oil and gas trainers and trainees, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the department had raised the fees and was about implementing before the pandemic struck, leaving everyone struggling for survival. The director pointed out that the subsisting registration fees had been in place for over 10 to 13 years, hence the upward review, adding that the agency was going to maintain it till after pandemic.
“How can we review the registration fee under this COVID-19. We all know, the current registration fee is over 10 years old–we have been carrying it for over 10 years and we reviewed it actually higher because every regulation that spends over 10 years is supposed to be reviewed, the economy has grown.
“But due to COVID-19 we stand down the implementation of new fees. This fees we are charging is almost 13 years if you check back but we still maintain it because we need to really encourage and not to add to the burdens. After this COVID-19 then we can see if it is desired and then we implement the new fee”, he said.
Auwalu, however stated that the DPR was passionate about entrenching competence and capacity in the oil and gas training space, saying it was being cautious in granting of permits to training organisations to checkmate quackery. He said this also led to the segmentation of courses offered by the organisations.
Auwalu added: “Really, we are trying to check quackery. A lot of people come to claim that they have capacity to train. If you want to provide good opportunity you really have to drill deeper to really regulate entrants and that is why the word ‘regulatory’, is synonymous with the opportunity we provide.
“In as much as we have to protect the business, we can’t allow somebody who has the capacity, the talent, the equipment, everything, to compete with somebody who doesn’t have. So that is why we segmented it and we are using it to filter only those people that we know that have the capacity to provide certain trainings.
“After all, training is to enhance protection, save lives and ensure profitability. So the moment you let that loose, you lose everything, that is the reason we do that.”