AA RANO with 120 filling stations across the country plans to own a filling station in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.
Speaking to journalists after the introduction of the new logo, Chief Operating Officer of AA RANO, Abdulmumuni Dagazau, said the indigenous giant focuses on growth in order to meet consumers needs. It is the only downstream operator that has a truck park and this could be attributed to its doggedness in the industry.
What is the purpose of AA RANO logo introduction?
After every number of years, you will need to refresh your business because it gives customers and in-house confidence that the company is improving and changes are ongoing, those are the primary reasons why you need to rebrand, constantly updating your image.
Why does it take AA RANO so long to come to Lagos being the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria?
The truth is that everything has to start somewhere. We are actually in Ibadan and we are looking at the stations there. If you notice the chairman is not here, he is having meeting on this particular issue with Lagos state Governor. Soon, the company will unveil filling stations in Lagos. It takes sometime and we own every station that you see with AA RANO brand, we invest in relevant distribution, hopefully, before the end of the year, the company will be in Lagos.
What challenges AA RANO currently faces especially with the dwindling electricity in the country?
We face the same challenges every household face, not just business especially with electricity, it is the same issue. It impacts greatly on your ability to supply customers. I have emphasized on profitability. Profitability may not be how much we are making but the strength that we have to be able to give more to customers. So, it is the same problem, when we have to spend money having generators running constantly or having to provide extra power sources, be it alternative power sources, it is the same problem. This is a problem that should be dealt with by the government.
Talking about profitability and government regulation, the downstream oil and gas sector is over regulated, and the profit margin in this space is slim, players are not doing well and considering moving to other businesses. How are you able to manage your business?
We manage simply because we are able to manage our cost. We also take the entire value chain from start to end, what I mean by that is we secure the product from importation and collection from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), right through to end users. We manage our entire cost in that space and own all of our assets. Every truck you see branded AA RANO is owned by the company including its staff with its branded shirts. This kind of development plan better controls your cost. The company struggles like any other player in the industry making margin, we want to continuously involved in the value chain.
In terms of competition, AA RANO and Shema Oil which is more vibrant in the north because Shema Oil is another strong downstream player in that geopolitical zone?
Any player in any region is vibrant, it is also important to understand that we are not in a competition to see who is better than the other, it is about making sure we have enough players to provide the needs of consumers. AA RANO does not bother on other players in terms of competition, the company focuses on its growth and does not fight against competitors. It makes sure it is in the right space providing for its consumers.
What are your expansion plans?
There is no day we are not in expansion in AA RANO, we expand either in infrastructure asset investment or human capital, we are constantly evolving.
Are you also in the South-east and South-south part of the country?
We have a lot of filling stations in Oyo, Ogun, Enugu, Anambra and other states.
What are your expectations from the government to drive the downstream sector?
Government is doing what it can, it is important to understand how things are done. We understand from our own end that government is limited from what it can do as long as it continues to do its best, we will support it so as to attain its objectives while AA RANO on its part creates value.
At Ijegun in Lagos where your trucks are parked, residents are complaining, do you have a loading bay?
We are probably the only operator in the downstream who has a loading bay in fact, we don’t call it a loading bay, it is a truck park and more than 200 trucks are parked there. You will never see an AA RANO truck parking outside its garage. The company is creating value at every environment it operates and it does all it can to make sure every player in that area is given maximum support for improvement.
How many stations does AA RANO has in operation?
Currently, we have about 120 filling stations, we are constantly expanding, and our chairman is making negotiation to have additional land and facility, going forward, the company is evolving. It is difficult for me to give you an exact number because virtually every day we are building filling stations.
What is the volume of production of AA RANO’s terminal?
In our terminal, we produce over 100000 tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) every month and probably produce 80000 of gas oil every month.