Following the introduction of mandatory Minimum Industry Safety Training for Downstream operations (MISTDO) by Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the new slew of levies of N25,000 per attendant and N35,000 per station manager respectively for new or existing filling stations seeking licence renewal attached to the new training fee.
IPMAN made this known in a statement released by Alhaji Debo Ahmed, National Deputy President of IPMAN, on Monday. According to him, the charges were allegedly part of the MISTDO being introduced by the DPR through consultants, alleging that the amount was initiated without due diligence and representation of the industry players.
He 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 have their 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.
“Most pump attendants use filling station employment as a stop-gap pending when another good job is secured. 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.
“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. IPMAN called on the leadership of the petroleum industry for intervention.
Mr. Paul Osu, Head, Public Affairs, DPR, while reacting to the statement of IPMAN said the MISTDO programme will be involving operators of depots, petrol stations, product pipelines, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants and Petroleum Trucks.
According to him, the programme was launched following extensive collaborations with relevant stakeholders including the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
Osu said it was a direct response to upsurge in downstream sector accidents and operational mishaps leading to high casualty and fatality rates averaging 54 fatalities yearly within a five year period.
“Please note that DPR does not charge the trainees for the MISTDO programme.”
The DPR’s spokesperson further noted that 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.
He said, “The objectives of MISTDO amongst others, include to enforce and standardise basic training for downstream workers, and to provide industry reference for prospective trainees.
“The programme requires robust accreditation of training centres for existing workers and new entrants into the downstream sector.
“Successful trainees are issued a certificate valid for two years at a negotiated cost between the trainees and the certified training centres,” he added.