The Federal Government says that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) of 2021 clearly establishes a healthy and environmentally conscious workforce and a safe workplace for companies to prosper in the petroleum industry and gas.
Mr. Farouk Ahmed, Authority Executive Director (ACE), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), said this on Thursday in Abuja.
Ahmed unveiled this at the inaugural Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Managers forum for Midstream and Downstream Operators in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria.
Organized to investigate the HSE challenges facing the sustainable development of the industry, the forum will provide a framework for innovative and practical solutions to these challenges for the benefit of our environment, workforce, host communities and investment initiatives.
The ACE, while underscoring the critical role that HCE could play, said
the PIA statutory provisions on HSEC management clearly indicated that the government appreciated the importance of a healthy and environmentally conscious workforce.
This, according to him, led to the creation of a directorate to manage Health, Safety, Environment and Community issues in the intermediate and downstream value chain.
“In the past, the regulator and the industry through this platform exchanged ideas, thoughts and deliberated extensively on HSE issues related to current operations, which yielded positive results and fostered the relationship between the industry and the regulator specifically in HSE issues,” he said.
However, the ACE said it was in this regard that the Authority decided to revive the forum to build on its previous achievements, adding that the forum’s emergence was in response to increased environmental awareness and the global need for sustainable development in the industry. .
“The oil and gas industry has for several decades maintained a privileged place at the top of the global energy mix despite the threat posed by cleaner and renewable energy sources.
“However, recent concerns about global warming, exponential improvements in the efficiency of renewable energy alternatives, and oil pricing policy have combined to pose an almost existential threat to the global oil industry.
“Threats from renewable energy sources that in the past were almost always dismissed by energy industry experts have become more real today than ever.
“As we speak, some of the big international oil companies are funding massive research into alternative fuels. As sweet as Nigerian crude is globally recognized, we recently lost our valued customers, and gas buyers now compete with us in the same market space as suppliers.
“Nigeria will continue to benefit from its vast oil resources, now more than ever is the time to embed sustainability into our oil and gas value chain as well as its waste management.
“And this task falls on the shoulders not only of regulators but of all stakeholders. So it’s fitting that the theme of this inaugural HSE Managers’ Forum for Mid and Downstream Operators is: “Let’s get started,” he said.
He urged participants to submit a statement reflecting a collective commitment to sustainable development, with ideas and practical recommendations to improve the industry’s HSE performance.
In a comment, Capt. John Tonlagha, Executive Commissioner, HSEC, Nigeria Upstream, Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC)
He said the forum was designed to address midstream and downstream regulatory and operational issues in the industry.
He said that the platform that was installed in the era of the then Department of Petroleum Resources had served as a real tool to bridge the gap between the regulator and the entire value chain in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
“Having put the HSE Managers forum in proper perspective based on the achievements we can attest to in the commission, I believe the NMDPRA and all players in this industry have a longstanding partnership.
“This will consolidate the PIA’s gains and institutionalize key and laudable HSE-related programs that will further assist in updating our collective mandate,” he said.