By Yemie Adeoye
THE ManagingÂ Â Director of Nipco plc, Girish Sanadhya has advanced reasons why the company embarked on massive retailing of petroleum products through its partnering service stations across the country under a novel branding scheme even as he explains.
Speaking to shareholdersÂ at the companyâ€™s recently held Annual General Meeting in Abuja, he said it is part of the forward integration plan of the organisation aimed primarily at branding no fewer than 200 filling stations within the next 3 years.
According to him, the project which was conceptualized in 2008 is fast gaining momentum and barely 6 months after several individuals and corporate bodies had shown interest in the Nipco brand.
In the first half of 2009 alone, several stations had come under the NipcoÂ brand and scores of others are expected to follow suit before the end of the year across the federation .
He likened some of the benefits that could accrue to the partnering members whose stations come under Nipco brand to include: uninterrupted product supply at affordable rates, increased revenue, brand loyalty,Â Â technical and equipment supply to ensure that their operations are world class standard etc.
The MD however maintained that the companyâ€™s entry into retailing of petroleum products is not in any way to compete with its shareholders, majority of whom are petroleum products marketers, but for brand visibility and standards we could bequeath in the fuel distribution chain.
In fact, he maintained that several independent petroleum marketers had been coming willingly to the company to offer their stations to Nipco in view of the inherent benefits derivable from such venture.
â€œThere is no conflict of interest or abdication of the idea behind the settingÂ up of the companyÂ especially in relations to providing petroleum products to independent fuel marketers who floated the company initiallyâ€Â Â Sanadhya noted.
The MD maintained that what Nipco is even doing will not only have positive effect on nationwide availability of products but also the share appreciation of the companyâ€™s stock.
According to him, reports about the operation of about 30 of the existing branded stations have shown that the outlets remain the only ones where the fuel needs of motorists were met adequately during the recent fuel scarcity.
The project, he explained furtherÂ is not in any way aimed at competing with our partnering stations but a way of repositioning the excellent services the company has been offering through its depot operations where no fewer that 100 trucks are loaded withinÂ a period of eight hours .
On the mega station which the company plans for some key cities like Lagos , Kano , Port Harcourt , Abuja , Kaduna etc, he said they will be actualized in no distant future.
Mr Sanadhya said the Lagos mega outlet to be constructed on Lagos_Badagry expressway is presently bogged down by the Lagos stateÂ governmentâ€™s plan to widen the road and as soon as it is finalized work will resume on site.
While appreciating the wonderful support the company had been receiving from its esteemed shareholders, the MD said their patronage has remained a source of strength to the organization which clocks five yearsÂ next month (July).
He restated that the vision of the company is to be the first choice company in the oil and gas sector to all stakeholders by ensuring the provision of quality services in the petroleum products storage and handling in an environment that is friendly, safe and dignifying.