The Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sarki Auwalu has thrown more light on the importance of the National Gas Network Code (NGNC) unveiled during the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS). Among other issues discussed in an interview with NewsDirect on the sideline of the International conference in Abuja last week, the Director, disclosed that NGNC is an initiative that will make gas readily available and affordable to all Nigerians.
What you are doing to reposition the downstream sector?
What we did is to use technologies to reposition the downstream sector; enhance security; enhanced skills of the operators in the downstream; give them basic skills so that they will serve and manage the critical infrastructure that they are working with properly.
Our own strategy is to ensure that minimum industrial safety training is given to each individual as well as integrity for the facility which they operate. We try to avail them the opportunity to learn the new strategic technology in achieving quality, safety and availability of downstream products.
On the issue of safety, for the last one year, there have been issues of some tanker explosions, what is the Department of Petroleum Resources doing about it?
What we are doing is to work on stress management; safety is heart and mind. Most \!of the tanker drivers over-stress themselves and take drugs. So we are working with Petrol Tanker Drivers Association (PTD) to educate them so that they can save their lives because one Nigerian life is worth more than the tanker and its content. So what we do is to tell the PTD to engage its members and give us feedback in order to ensure that tanker drivers manage stress and safety both in heart and mind. When the message is put in your heart, you know that it is your responsibility not any other person’s responsibility. We are achieving a lot. You will see that there is reduction in tanker Driver’s accident in the country after we initiated this programme.
With the launch of National Gas Network Code, what should we be expecting?
What we are doing for Nigerians is creating an enabling environment for everybody to have an open access. The Network Transportation Gas Code is nothing but providing availability of the product. For instance, in the communications sector, when network providers were created, with operators such as MTN and others, telephone was available; that is exactly what we have done to gas. We create Transport Network Codes in such a way that every Nigeria have access to gas. We call it gas access to the people; the seller, the bulk purchaser, the distributor and producer have a common ground to sell and trade in gas. It makes gas available and affordable to Nigerians.
Can you throw more light on the reason for the conference, especially on the National Gas Network Code?
The National Gas Network Code is an initiative that will make gas readily available in Nigeria. It will create the availability and affordability of gas to each and every Nigerian. It gives opportunity for gas producers, sellers, and buyers to access gas as at when due. The Aggregators; Nigerian gas marketing companies and every other player now in the gas sector to have a platform that is uniformed and unified. This will provide open access for everybody to play in the industry so that gas will go to the people not only to power.