IPMAN decries safety training costs for operators | Dailytrust

IPMAN decries safety training costs for operators

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN)
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN)

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the introduction of N25,000 safety training charge per attendant and N35,000 per station manager by new or existing filling stations seeking licence renewal.

A statement by the National Deputy President of IPMAN, Alhaji Debo Ahmed, said the charges were part of the Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream Operations (MISTDO) being introduced by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) through consultants without due diligence.

The association said the introduction of MISTDO by DPR as a prerequisite for renewing or acquiring a new Storage and Sales License is another cost burden on retail outlet operators.

“The DPR is charging N25,000 each for the training of pump attendants and N35,000.00 each for the training of a station manager no matter how many pump attendants and number of retail outlets. Without the certificate of training, new filling stations will not be approved or license renewed.

“The DPR has forgotten that one of the requirements for filling station approval is a Trained Attendants Letter from an already established filling station, of which practical aspects include this DPR’s MISTDO,” it said.

“IPMAN will not absorb any additional cost to the existing multifarious taxes, charges from some state and local governments all heaped on petrol retail outlets in the country,” IPMAN said.

The association said the cost was not needed as employment turnover in filling stations was very high. “Most pump attendants use filling station employment as a stopgap pending when another good job is secured,” it added.

According to it, multiple charges across local and state governments for a built filling station include Approval to Build (ATB), Land Charges, Ground Rent, Setback, Signboard, Business Premises, Fire Certificate, Weight and Measure Fees among others.

It noted that despite these charges, marketers have not made any increase on their margin for 15 years on PMS despite rising petrol cost. “The marketers’ margin on the aggregate when PMS was N97 per litre is the same margin when PMS is N165 per litre,” it said.

IPMAN called on the leadership of the petroleum industry for intervention.

However, in a statement reacting to the IPMAN claims, the Head, Public Affairs at DPR, Paul Osu, said MISTDO is compulsory and meant to safeguard industry operations.

“The MISTDO programme covers depots, petrol stations, product pipelines, LPG plants and petroleum trucks.”

DPR said it was launched to tackle the rampant accidents and fatalities averaging 54 fatalities yearly within a five-year period.

On the fees, DPR said: “Please note that DPR does not charge the trainees for the MISTDO programme.

“To further ensure transparency of operations between the training centres and trainees, DPR made it mandatory for trainers to publish their cost of providing training on the MISTDO portal managed by DPR,” it noted.

Although IPMAN is worried about the extra cost for safety, some pump attendants who spoke with Daily Trust in Abuja, were excited about the DPR scheme. Augustine Okoli, who serves at Azman, said: “Safety is very important in this business, if getting us trained is compulsory, I don’t see why filling station owners should reject it.”

On her part, Ladi Musa who dispenses fuel at AA Rano specifically said the training should focus on the use of fire extinguishers, safety practices while dispensing fuel and offloading of content at filling stations.

“There are times that you see petrol tanker drivers trying to smoke when they bring fuel to us for discharge; I think the training should focus on these issues.”

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