The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), announced on Wednesday that it has commenced the online sales and tracking of petroleum products across the country, to ensure minimal human interactions across its depots, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement in Abuja, Group General Manager, Information Technology Division (ITD) of the NNPC, Danladi Inuwa, disclosed that the online sales and tracking of the commodity became possible due to its deployment of a sales and distribution application in the Oil and Gas Secondary Model Portal that would enable marketers to buy petroleum products online.
According to Inuwa, the application, known as ‘Customer Express’, would also enable marketers to register, validate and revalidate their Bulk Purchase Agreements online within a week, adding that the portal provides a dashboard that enables the corporation to track every molecule of products being imported, transported and sold at every given time.
He said: “The Portal shows what product is in transit in terms of volume, what quantity is in the jetty, what volume has gone into the pipelines, what quantity has gone into NNPC depots, private depots, and refinery depots. So, we have an accurate accounting of every molecule of products that we have in our system,” Inuwa disclosed.”
Inuwa explained that already, members of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) are now purchasing products online seamlessly while the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN) and other relevant downstream stakeholders are expected to start transacting business on the platform soon.
He further disclosed that an application that could show the volume of stocks in the tanks of all NNPC Retail stations across the country had equally being deployed and the ticketing digitized, affirming that more technological innovations would be deployed in the months ahead.
Inuwa stated that despite the recent lockdown in the country, the NNPC business value chains were not affected as the corporation was well-prepared, adding that the NNPC had over 4,000 virtual meetings, 9.3million minutes of audio time, 6.7million minutes of video time and 2.1million minutes of screen shared times.
He added that the robust IT business continuity plan had enhanced the corporation’s workforce efficiency.
Furthermore, the NNPC IT chief stated that the corporation has developed a contacts-tracing software application that would be deployed in all its locations across the country.
According to Inuwa, the novel app was part of the NNPC’s sectoral contribution to curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic within its formations and ministries, departments, and agencies of the government.
He said, “The Contacts-Tracing Solution is ready to be deployed, all the technical testing has been done and the solution is ready to go live. Everywhere you go around NNPC locations would be covered by this novel application which would reveal all information about persons visiting any official and should there be any medical challenge, the NNPC Medical would be able to track from the information at the database all the contacts and advise properly.”
Inuwa added that the application could also be used by members of staff of the corporation to document their private visitors at their homes, stressing that the novel application would enable the workforce to adjust adequately to the ‘new normal’ way of living to minimize the spread of the disease.
The deployment of applications, he noted, was in line with the Transparency, Accountability, and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda of the present leadership of the NNPC and the commitment to continually deploy Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for the purposes of operational efficiency and accountability within its system.