Petrol Marketers Develop Incentives To Boost Sales As NNPC Floods Depots
As the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) floods the depots with petrol, the oil marketing companies have developed series of incentives to lure customers and boost sales, THISDAY has learnt.
Investigation revealed that while some independent marketers sell at pump prices of N140, N141 per litre, below the N145 official pump price, some major marketers offer special discounts to their dealers to encourage them to boost sales.
THISDAY had reported that exactly six months after the NNPC assumed the sole importer of petrol in October 2017, the corporation had finally normalised the supply of the product, with depot owners now selling at official ex-depot price.
The corporation’s inability to bridge the supply gap created by the refusal of the private marketers to import petrol, had led to fuel crisis, which marred the Christmas celebration and lingered into the first quarter of 2018.
But the NNPC’s success was achieved at a great cost to the country as the corporation’s under-recovery, which is the loss incurred by selling the imported product at official prices of N133 per litre at the depots and N145 at the pumps, had hit N1.4 trillion.
THISDAY’s investigation at the weekend showed that the corporation has flooded the whole country with petrol, forcing the marketers to devise various kinds of incentives to woo customers and prevent glut in the market.
Some of the marketers told THISDAY at the weekend that the major oil marketing companies are providing special offers to their dealers to boost turnover and avoid glut in their depots.
“While other depot owners sell at official ex-depot price, the major marketers sell at N145 per litre to their dealers in the depots. They don’t sell to other marketers except their branded filling stations. However, to ensure that their dealers sell at the same N145 at the filling stations, the major marketers offers them special discounts. The more the volume of sales, the higher the discounts,” said one of the marketers.
A market survey conducted by THISDAY at the weekend showed that petrol was available in 18 depots in Lagos.
It was also learnt that petrol was sourced from third-party in these depots at ex-depot prices of between N136 per litre and N134 per litre.
The depots include: AA Rano, Ascon, Chi-Pet, D-Jones, Fatgbems, First Royal, Folawiyo, Integrated Oil, Techno Oil, MRS, T-Time Pet, Wosbab, NIPCO, Obat, Rahamaniya, African Tanker and Sahara.
To boost sales, THISDAY gathered that most of the dealers stick to the N145 official price and also ensure that customers are not shortchanged by maintaining the integrity of the pumps.
Apart from maintaining the integrity of the pumps and selling at the official N145, some of the dealers also station their attendants along the roads to woo motorists to patronise their filling stations.
Investigation also revealed that the independent marketers have also devised strategies to boost sales in the face of increasing supply of product by the NNPC.
It was gathered that some independent marketers sell at N140, N141, N142, N143 at their filling stations to attract motorists.
“Some filling stations owned by the independent marketers now sell below N145, unlike the major marketers, which are still selling at N145. The only challenge is that nobody is sure of the integrity of their meters. It is better to buy 20 litres from a major marketer at N145 per litre and be sure that what you have in your tank is 20 litres, than to buy 20 litres at N140 per litre and end up having 17 litres in your tank,” said a marketer, who also spoke off the record.