- Invests N10bn on new retail outlets, Unveils Lagos retail outlet
By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku and Ugo Aliogo
In line with its commitment to drive excellence in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Heyden Petroleum Limited has acquired 40 new petrol stations, thus bringing the number of its retail outlets to 50.
The upgrade of the newly acquired petrol stations is currently ongoing and is billed for completion in months.
Speaking weekend at the unveiling of one of the rebranded retail outlets, located in Alapere axis on the ever-busy Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, the Managing Director, Dapo Abiodun, said the company invested has over N10billion in the acquisition of the new petrol stations.
Abiodun, who is also the Chairman of Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPMAN), said the filling stations are being upgraded to ensure consumers get value for their money at every visit to the firm’s retail outlets.
The firm’s retail outlets are strategically located in major cities such as Lagos and Ogun. However, the company plans to expand its retail outlets operations to Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Kwara, FCT Abuja and other parts of the country.
According to Abiodun, “We have acquired over 40 petrol stations presently, which brought our total to 50 fuel stations.
Our stations are located in Lagos and Ogun states respectively. Ogun is a new market for us. We will begin our expansion to Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Kwara, FCT Abuja (which we are currently working on) and other parts of the country.”
The Heyden Petroleum boss stated that the Victoria Garden City (VGC) petrol station is being rebranded and would be inaugurated soon. The VGC retail outlet, perhaps the biggest filling station in Lagos currently, has 26 pumps to dispense petrol to 26 vehicles simultaneously.
“We are one of the biggest importers of petroleum products in the country; we have our tank farms, ships and good distribution networks. Therefore, our filling stations will always have fuel. We have built a good brand in terms of doing wholesale and coming down the retail line to add to the value chain”, he said.
The DAPMAN chair emphatically stated: “The VGC station will be unveiled in the next one month. We have other stations in Lagos. We are going to be inaugurating them monthly or every three months; we are working on them in batches of five so that by December, we would have inaugurated all of them.”
He added: “What we witnessed from the first two we launched has been very successful. We are very much encouraged that Nigerians appreciate stations that were well built and managed.
“That for us is what we have done and we are justified with the result we have seen and we will continue to do this. We are here to redefine how petrol is sold to the public and we are confident that we will be seen as one of the leaders in the petroleum retail sector.’’
The newly launched retail outlet in Lagos has nine pumps; seven of the nine are dual dispensers, which imply that 14 vehicles can buy petrol at the same time. It also has one pump for kerosene and diesel. In all, it has 16 dispensing units and about 15 attendants employed by the company.
Abiodun commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu for the deregulation of the downstream sector, noting that “this is a feat which previous administrations had tried, but failed.” The deregulation brought the incentive to establish the retail business.’’
The Group Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mr. Henry Ikem-Obih said at the unveiling of the new filling station that globally, the downstream sector impacts more in peoples’ lives. He commended Heyden Petroleum for its long term vision, pointing out that with the current wind of change in the industry, only firms that have the capacity and long term vision can play in the sector.
“Dapo is one of those individuals with a long term vision. He invested in a terminal for distribution among others. He has arrangements around trucking, which ensures that he also moves his products by road at the right competitive prices.
Obih said Heyden has massive investment in every aspect of the retail chain, which ensures that every component of the supply chain can provide money, adding that this helps the NNPC downstream sector to achieve its plan of N145 naira per litre cealing. “Therefore based on the fully deregulated model which is constrained by forex challenges today, it underlines the need for people to be more integrated in the sector to be able to make money.”
“The only way to make money is to play in every component of the supply chain, so that you profit from all the capital invested. I want to commend the President Buhari for transiting to today’s environment, it was very difficult. But we went back to complain to him.
“But his biggest concern was that economically the times are not encouraging for the average Nigerian. The paramount concern of Buhari was how this will impact on our income as we move from 87 to 145, how do we cushion the sufferings of the people, and where are the palliatives.
“Things are tough, but we continue to work on the vision. Abiodun was one of those who encouraged us during the journey. You stay with us during the course of the journey. At NNPC, we have a responsibility to ensure that people such as Abiodun who have invested long term capital in this time of uncertainty receives all the support and encouragements they need”, he stressed.
The NNPC Downstream Sector Chief stressed that the market is getting tougher for the operators, stating that deregulation brings intense competition to the market, and there would be massive level of consolidation in the business environment which would imply that a number of investors would fall out of the environment.
In his remarks, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Abdul-Hakeem Abdul-Lateef, commended the Managing Director of Heyden Petrol station for the huge investment, noting that despite the numerous challenges facing the economy at present, he was able to bring on stream such massive project,
He said: “For us in Lagos State everything is about growth, therefore having this, Dapo has created more jobs for us in Lagos. This investment will help boost the PAYE taxation drive of the administration. We are impressed and we need more of this in the state. We also need one in Ogun State.”