Less than 1% prediction of the Nigerian Filling Station Market growth rate between 2021 and 2026 is not a surprise to business development experts and station managers who spoke with our analyst because the country is yet to overcome the consequences of COVID-19 and varied disruptions that followed EndSars protest.
Beyond these incidents, our analyst notes that there are internal and external factors that equally affected the growth of the market before 2019 and 2020 used as the base years by some market analysts. Many filling stations experienced unexpected disruption in accessing petroleum for sale, largely linked to sever internal politics by station managers.
However, this piece is not about the factors that drive the growth of the market. It focuses on understanding location within the context of factors of production and the implications of the closeness of the stations to critical public and private facilities.
Our analyst believes when location analysis is considered before situating the stations the owners will have opportunity of creating and capturing expected value. Analysing location by the regulatory agencies will also help government in knowing the level of risk and threat the stations could pose to the human survival.
As good as these propositions from our analyst, analysis of various studies and reports from local and international organisations reveals that a significant number of the filling stations in the north, east, west and south regions are violating the specified distance limit and adequate provision of required facilities. Most of the stations are situated to public premises. In Ilorin, 10 stations are located to school, 226 are closed to shops while 192 and 11 are located close to residential houses and hospitals respectively. This insight is not quite different from what is available in Bauchi, Ilaro, Akure, Oyo, Ilesa, Kaduna and other cities in the country.
Meeting the Standardised Distance Limit
From the studies and reports, including our observation, majority of the stations do not meet the regulatory agencies’ distance limit requirement. In Kaduna, 86% of the filling stations did not meet the minimum distance of 100 meter from the health care facilities. 84% did not meet the criteria of 400-meter minimum distance to other stations. In Bauchi, out of 73 stations, 60 % are clustered along out bound roads while 58 % violated the 400m requirement.
The failure of not following the extant rules of locating the stations is huge according to the Nigerian and foreign studies. Emissions being generated every second, minute and hour have been mostly documented by the researchers. Our analysis also reveals this consequence. In Akure, the rate of fume inhalation and noise pollution is very high because a number of the stations operate on generating plants. Stations that are located close to residential structures are obstructing easy traffic flow and have high potential of causing fire outbreaks.
From the insights, it is high time that concerned regulatory agencies intensify their efforts towards better location analysis before approving stations. The Ministry of Lands and Survey at the state and federal levels and the National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency should lead in this regard. The Department of Petroleum Resources needs to increase its methodologies for ensuring total compliance with the existing distance limitation rule and public safety regulations.