The Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr Sarki Auwalu, has said that the federal government is moving the headquarters of the industry regulator from Lagos to Abuja for the sake of centrality.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Abuja, Auwalu, noted that the organisation would continue to work hard to defend the confidence reposed in it in the industry.

According to him, the choice of Abuja as the location of the headquarters was to ensure the centrality of the regulatory work of the agency and closeness to all the major stakeholders.

“Establishing the headquarters in Abuja is the best for the sector, because the entire DPR stakeholders that need to work closely with the operations are in Abuja.

“We are looking for petroleum resources all over the nation with already seven existing basins which would be better managed from the central point,” he stated.

Auwalu added that as a forward-looking organisation, the DPR would continue to innovate and fully prepare for the challenges of the times.

“As a department, we will continue to justify the confidence reposed in us by government. Rest assured that this building will support DPR’s enabling businesses and creating opportunities for the industry to thrive, using our robust regulatory framework and service instrument.

“This DPR is the DPR of the 21st century, a century we use big data and artificial intelligence. Our work requires data to enhance and maximise revenue for the country.

“Those things that are available to us, especially IT facilities are exactly what the building represents, we make it a 21st century building whereby technology will rule and we will use intelligence to make our country proud,” he stated.

In his comments, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said that the construction of the headquarters was another milestone in infrastructure development efforts of the federal government.

“The construction of this building tagged: ‘The Barrel‘ is yet another milestone achievement by President Muhammadu Buhari in the area of infrastructure development and its commitment to reposition the oil and gas sector for effective service delivery.

“DPR as a critical agency of government, regulates, monitors activities of the Nigerian oil and gas industry which drives all other sectors of the economy,” he said

Sylva said the edifice, when completed would provide a conducive environment to support oil and gas businesses across the value chain for operators, service providers, investors, international collaborators among others.

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According to him, the design of the building reflects an innovative and timeless architecture that honours the Abuja Central Business District landscape, adding that the project will be completed in 24 months.

The Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria, Dr. Lars Richter, in his remarks, said the building would be completed within the time frame.

He noted that the building upon completion would represent a world class one that would meet global standard, stressing that Julius Berger has had a great record in infrastructure development in Nigeria since 1965.

“The building has office facilities, auditorium, clinic, restaurant, energy house among others, we will deliver the project within the timeframe,” Richter stated.

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