Ben Dunno, Warri
In a renewed efforts at ensuring safety of lives and property in the oil and gas sector, the Delta state government has shut down one of the offshore safety training centre, Opeans Nigeria Limited, over an alleged inability to renew its yearly Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) license regulating its operations in the state.
The Delta state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, who announced this decision after an unscheduled visit to the training centre located at No. 34 Opete road, Otokutu in Udu Council area, said the shut down had become necessary inorder to maintain a high safety standards in the sector.
The Commissioner noted that the closure of Opeans Nigeria Limited Offshore Safety Training Centre, which operates for middle and lower manpower for the maritime, Oil and Gas Industry, was based on the fact that the state government cannot afford to jeopardize the lives of workers in the oil and gas sector as well as Marine services operating within the state.
Prince Amgbaduba, who led top officials of the Oil and Gas Ministry, including the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Puegeren to the facility, directed that all training activities in the centre should seize forthwith after officials of the centre failed to produce their accreditation and licence to back up their operations.
He said their accreditation which is supposed to be renewed yearly by the DPR had since expired and they have failed to renew it hence not accredited to carry out any form of training.
Prince Amgbaduba noted that the Ministry places high premium on safety hence would not compromise standard on its periodic checks on firms that specialize in the training of manpower for the Oil and Gas industry.
The Oil and Gas Commissioner said the visit was not to witch hunt any firm but to ensure that due process and necessary accreditation and licences were acquired before the commencement of training in order to promote safety and standard in the Industry.
Prince Amgbaduba maintained that the Ministry was complementing the efforts of the DPR and directed the Director of the firm to report to the Ministry in Asaba on Monday with proof of claims of having up-to-date licence and accreditation.
Officials at the firm could not provide their DPR licence, DPR accreditation for the Center, and other relevant international certification as required on the DPR Guideline and Procedure for Travel To Offshore/Swamp Location and Obtainment of Offshore Safety Permit. The Officials claimed that the documentations were with the Director who was not on seat during the unscheduled visit .
The Commissioner and his team were also at Lym Consults Nigeria Limited’s Offshore Safety Training Center, located at Km 10, Sapele-Warri expressway, Otomewo Community near Warri. They commended the firm for satisfying all the requirements with the DPR and other certification organizations.
He said he was impressed that the firm (Lym Consults Nigeria Limited) has global standard and certifications stressing that certified training was the spring board to achieve safety in the field.
Prince Amgbaduba emphasised that the Ministry will not allow any firm without appropriate licence and accreditation to operate in any part of the state, as any firm found wanting will face severe sanction and possible criminal charges.
The Oil and Gas Commissioner said quacks cannot be allowed to train manpower for the Oil and Gas Industry which is the nation’s mainstay and charged the company to adhere strictly to all COVID-19 protocol in its operations.
The Chief Executive Officer Lym Consults Nigeria Limited, Mr Larry Otu commended the Commissioner for the unscheduled visit saying that it showed Government’s commitment to ensuring safety of lives and property in the Oil and Gas Industry adding that it has up to date DPR license, DPR accreditation and OPITO accreditations for all course being offered.
He further stated that OPITO accreditation for courses like the Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Trainings (BOSIET) and others is a mandatory requirement as stated on the DPR Guideline and Procedure for Travel To Offshore/Swamp Location and Obtainment of Offshore Safety Permit.
He further stated that Lym Consults Nigeria Limited is the only company in Delta State that possess OPITO approval.
Mr Otu who took the Commissioner and his team on a guided tour of the firm’s premises promised to train five officials of the Ministry which Prince Amgbaduba applauded saying that government was willing to partner with such organisation.
A checked by our Correspondent on the DPR website https://www.dpr.gov.ng/offshore-training-centres/, shown that Lym Consults Nigeria Limited is currently the only Company in Delta State with a valid DPR accreditation for Offshore safety trainings.
Reacting to the shutdown, the Executive Director of Opeans Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said it was wrong for the state government to have taken such a decision as its only DPR the regulatory agency that had the mandate to sanction erring operator in any part of the country.