Federal Government wants stakeholders in the nation’s oil and gas industry to do everything possible to ensure that their weighing and measuring equipment are in conformity with the provisions of the Weights and Measures Act.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo who made the call at a stakeholders’ engagement in Lagos said the adoption of standard weights and measurements in oil and gas industry was important to promote fairness and proper pricing of petroleum products, thereby preventing revenue leakages and aligning with global best practice.
The engagement on Legal Metrology applications in the oil and gas industry was with the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and Petroleum Product Depot Owners Association (PPDOA).
Otunba Adebayo who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Department of Weights and Measures in the ministry, Mr. Hassan Tai Ejibunu, also urged oil and gas stakeholders to ensure prompt payment of the statutory fees after the verification of the equipment to ascertain they are good and fit for use for trade.
According to Otunba Adebayo, ” The reasons for today’s engagement are in two folds. The first reason reason is to further create awareness about the activities of Weights and Measures Department to the major stakeholders in the Oil and Gas sector and request the cooperation and understanding of the stakeholders for the Weights and Measures Department to perform its legitimate statutory duties as assigned to it by the laws of the Federation and other subsisting Regulations and Gazettes.
“Weights and Measures activities are universal and the activities are traceable to the Organisation of International Legal Metrology (OIML) in Paris, France, to which Nigeria is a correspondent member. The OIML , through the body representing Member States, is to ensure that the instruments used etrade, Oil and Non-Oil , are fit for use for trade transactions with the ultimate aim of preventing the short changing of both the sellers and the buyers , by ensuring transparency, equity and fairness. This is what Weights and Measures Department stands for and that is why the Department carries out the verification and certification of equipment used in dispensing oil at the terminal and the different sales outlets of petroleum products.
“This power of Weights and Measures Department is encapsulated in the Weights and Measures Act CAP W3 LFN 2004 and the Pre-shipment Inspection of Export Act CAP P25 LFN 2004.
“The second reason is to seek the concurrence and buy-in of the leadership of MOMAN and PPDOA on how the Inspectors of Weights and Measures Department will perform their statutory responsibilities seamless at the business premises owned by MOMAN and PPDOA members. The activities of the Inspectors of Weights and Measures Department include carrying out weighing and Measurement activities in all oil and gas business premises that engage in the use of weights, measures, weighing and measuring equipment for trade in the country. This is to ensure transparency and fairness in trade”, he said.
Otunba Adebayo went on to warm that the Ministry would not condone acts of indiscipline from officials found wanting as regards compliance with the extent rules and regulations of government.
While commending the stakeholders for their support and coorperation so far, he assured them that government was aware of their challenges and was putting measures in place to make the environment more conducive for thriving of businesses in the oil and gas industry.
He said in that regard , the government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has come up with different policy measures that would enable businesses to thrive.
In his words, “Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to state that the ministry is not unaware of the numerous challenges being faced by members of MOMAN and PPDOA in the process of carrying to business in this prevailing economic situation. However, I want you all, to be rest assured that the ministry is going to work in concert with other relevant agencies of Government to ensure that you all have conducive atmosphere for your businesses to thrive. That is why the present Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has come up with defferent policy measures that will enable business to thrive and grow in country.
“As major stakeholders, I would like to reiterate that the ministry will request you to provide the Inspectors of Weights and Measures Department with full maximum cooperation whenever they are in your business premises to carry out their statutory duties, which is for the common good of all. It will be necessary for me to urge all to ensure that all your weighing and measuring equipment are in conformity with the Provisions of the Weights and Measures Act at all times and also ensure prompt payment of the statutory fees after the verification of the equipment to ascertain they are good and fit for use for trade.
“Before concluding my address, I would like to at this juncture re-emphasize the ministry’s position of not condoning acts of indiscipline on the part of its officials and any extant rules and regulations of Government. Similarly, any organisation that contravenes the Provisions of the Weights and Measures Act will be sanctioned accordingly”, he warned.
Tai Ejibunu had noted that the Minister would have loved to be physically present but could not because of the Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting which he must be part of.
In a speech, MOMAN representative, Mr. Kingsley Ojimba, promised that his members would do their best to comply with the policies of government in the industry.
“MOMAN Secretariate is committed to a viable petroleum downstream industry. We are ready to work hand in hand with Weights and Measures to make sure the Petroleum Industry is one industry that can collaborate with other stakeholders to make the Ease of Doing Business possible. On behalf of our Executive Secretary and Chairman, I thank you all”, he added.
The event which featured activities including technical sessions, also saw the resentatives of the major stakeholders signing and adopting a communique from the engagement.
Among oil companies represented at the event included Total Nigeria Plc, Conoil Plc and Mobil.
Also in attendance were the Weights and Measures Department Zonal Coordinators for Northwest, Northeast, North Central, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast regions of the country as well as that of Lagos State, Engineer Femi Usman.