SENATE Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), has asked the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to henceforth prepare and forward to it the daily product records of oil and gas in the country. The committee said the record of daily crude oil production must be submitted to the Senate every month. This will include petroleum industry activities, data on seismic activities, crude oil production, lifting allocations, exports by destination, receipts, gas production, utilisation, sales, transmission and exports. Chairman of the committee, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who led members of the committee to the headquarters of the Department of Petroleum Resources, on oversight responsibility to the DPR headquarters in Lagos, said the development would afford the Red Chamber the opportunity to have deeper knowledge of activities of the oil and gas sector in the country. Alaosoadura, who represents Ondo Central Senatorial District on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, frowned at perceived sideline of the legislature in the provisions of some information on government’s activities by agencies of government, saying the trend must stop. He said: “The problem with us is that we don’t think the National Assembly is part of government. “I have always told people that take the National Assembly away from governance, there is no more democracy. In any other government’s setting, there is the executive, there’s legislature and there’s the judiciary. But it’s only when you have the legislature which will act as a check on the executive that there’s democracy. “So, whatever is worth doing for the executive must also be done for the legislature so that at the end of the day, we will all understand and speak with one voice. “Some believe that it is only the executive that is running the government, no. It is not only when you come for budget that the National Assembly should be involved, it should be on a daily basis. “When you budget money for certain areas, is it only when we come here like this, maybe for once or twice in a year that we should know what you are doing with the money? No.” Speaking on the performance of the agency, Alasoadura expressed satisfaction on the performance of DPR, saying so far, it had lived up to expectations of people even as he said the agency was still grappling not only with funding problem but also low workforce. “Well, we are very impressed by what we saw. A lot of rumours fly around about the seeming incompetence of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR or the seeming collusion that people think they do but from all the efforts they are putting in to getting the required results for this country in information gathering, going technical or going ballistic, let me put it that way, from what we saw here today, I think they are putting in their best and I believe that in a few more years time, doing business in the oil industry in this country will be so transparent
that even people will be able to read what is happening in the oil industry from their bedrooms, from their offices and that will be a day for Nigeria.” He dismissed the notion in some quarters that the DPR had over the years displaced incompetence in executing its constitutional mandate. Hear him: They are not incapable. I think what has happened is that people have made up their minds that they (DPR) are not good. “And with this, the DPR needed to come out more, let people know what they are doing so that this bad impression about them can be corrected, ‘he said, adding.” I too, had believed that maybe they were not doing the right thing. “But again, when I compared it with the notion I had before I became a senator, that senators just go and sleep and every month, take money home, now that I don’t sleep at all, I know that the perception was wrong.” “From what we have seen here today, people’s perception about the DPR may not be correct. “And when they start coming out to let the people know what they are doing and how they are doing it, I’m sure the perception will change, “he further added. Alaosoadura said the Senate would seek for additional funding for the DPR, given that what was at its disposal was inadequate to enable it execute its constitutional mandate expected of it in the ongoing year. “They have briefed us about their difficulties and I believe that the most important area there is funding. “If they have enough money, they can do a lot of things and without money, you cannot modernize. It is modernisation that is required. They have started it and I believe that the National Assembly will support them to ensure that they get to the level that they should get to. The committee, which was surprised to know that the agency had only 1120 staff in its workforce, promised amendment of the necessary existing acts to raise its workforce in other to enhance its efficiency. To this end, the committee requested the organisation to supply it with its nominal roll so that it can address the issue. Making presentation before the Committee, the Director, DPR, Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan, hinted that the agencies was actively working with a view to launching an innovation that would enable it monitor oil production, delivery to locations as well as monitoring of compliance in petroleum prices by filling stations from its offices. But he hinted that the organisation’s dream of achieving higher feats was not only being hampered by inadequate funding but also inadequate workforce. To this end, the committee requested for the nominal roll of the agency’s workforce with a view to looking into the issues raised. Ladan explained that the DPR ,as a regulatory agency of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria with the responsibility cutting across the entire spectrum of the petroleum industry, through the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors was doing its best to ensure it lived up to the expectations of Nigerians.

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