In Nigeria today, petrol is a very important commodity (perhaps the most important commodity today in Nigeria) and this is a worldwide phenomenon.
Well at least not until all the major heavy machinery in today’s world can run on either bio-fuel, sunlight, thermal, or hydro sources of energy.
Okay, let’s come back to Nigeria. Nigeria as a nation is the 8th biggest oil producing nation in the whole wide world and she has crude oil deposits along her south-east, south-south and south-west borders both tapped and untapped.
And from all the numerous deposit fields comes the bulk of Nigeria’s revenue. Nigeria is also a very big consumer of petroleum products and with an estimated 40-50 million liters said to be consumed every blessed day, you can never go wrong to own a petrol station in Nigeria.
Majority of the homes, offices, institutions, federal agencies, factories, hospitals, private setups, and definitely all the vehicle on Nigeria roads run on either petrol or diesel while some buildings and households make use of either kerosene or liquefied gas on a daily basis.
If a single day goes by and petrol marketers refuse to sell petrol nationwide, then majority of operations get crippled as it was witnessed some weeks ago.
Therefore, with all the above being said, I am sure you are already salivating at the potentials inherent in owning a petrol station or even a franchise. If that is the case, let’s continue and see what the requirements to owning and effectively operating a petrol station in Nigeria are today.
Select the nature of marketer you will like to be
There are two natures of petrol marketers namely:
Dependent oil marketers
Independent oil marketers
Dependent oil marketers – A dependent oil marketer is one who holds the franchise of a major oil marketer and market under their registered brand with your own facility. The advantages and disadvantages of a dependent oil marketer include:
You can establish your business off the brand of your marketer. Examples of major marketers include Texaco, Total, AP, Forte, Conoil, Mobil etc.
Your products will be delivered directly to your station and within stipulated time by your marketers since they have enough logistics to cover services delivered.
You will receive professional and high class logistic services from a major marketer which will come very handy since you are new to the business.
You will have no business promoting your products as your marketer will already have that covered.
You will have no problem with payments for your products using bank drafts as you will be required to pay into your marketer’s account thereby taking away all the commotion that comes with direct payment.
You will have access to quality top-notch logistics and professional services in all facets of your enterprise.
Your profit per liter of products you lift will be restricted to a agreed definite amount thereby leaving you with a limited profit margin generally.
You will miss out on the opportunity to build and establish your own brand from the ground-up thereby preventing you from stamping your name as a major marketer.
Operations at your facility will be fully restricted to your marketer’s terms and conditions as you have to follow every of their policy to the letter.
Independent oil marketer – This is a type of marketer who owns his facility and operates his petrol station under his registered name; buys products directly from NNPC and has representatives at the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) depot. The advantages and disadvantages of an independent marketer include:
You run your business under your registered name and build your brand gradually thereby establishing yourself in the major marketer’s league.
You lift products directly from NNPC at en even lower price and you earn a certain percentage per products lift.
You are free of another company/marketer’s terms, conditions and policies which are mostly stringent. You operate your facility under your terms and as you wish.
You are in charge of promoting your brand therefore; you must find a way to advertise it yourself.
Finance might be a problem as you have to source for capital to buy products all by yourself.
There is a lot of risk involved in movement of products stemming from tanker explosions, accidents, extortion and loss of lives. You will have to bear all the loss alone.
Okay, since we now know the different types of marketers out there, let’s get to the next step of the process of owning your petrol station
Constructing your petrol station
Carry out research studies about your intended location , and the whole business structure as this is a very huge investment and we don’t want to count our losses now do we?
You should make sure your intended location is along a major or busy road so as to rake in more profit from your petrol station.
After making all your researches, get your approval to construct and you are good to go.
After acquiring your property, carried out research and all the necessary documentations and surveys, you sink your underground storage tank. Storage tanks measurements vary depending on the size of the space you have. But generally storage tanks measure between 35,000 liters and 65,000 liters
Make sure you contact a reliable petrol station construction engineer. An engineer that will be able to handle a project of such enormity effectively and within scheduled time. You will also need to make use of the services of a standby generator (35kva and above) and pumps. Consulting with a reputable logistics consultancy company will go a long way helping you with whatever you need.
Staffing your petrol station
Staffing your petrol station can be the most daunting tasks of all listed. Reason being that the staffs you employ can make or mar you. They can help your enterprise to grow and can also run you down. Either way, you will need the services of:
Attendants – Two attendants per pump will be alright as they will have to make shifts between themselves.
Supervisor – Two to three supervisors are more than enough to supervise operations at your filling station
Well, with all the above being said, I can certify that you are now ready to own your own petrol station. Good luck in your endeavors. You will need it.
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