This study was carried out on the Nigerian petroleum retail market. The study essentially examine the application of marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) in retailing of petroleum products in Nigeria using Texaco Plc as the case study. Texaco Nigeria Plc was incorporated in 1969 as a private limited company and became a publicly quoted company on December 8, 1978. The company is principally engaged in the marketing and distribution of petroleum products, blending of lubricants, and manufacturing of greases and petroleum jelly. This study makes use of secondary data only. The methods adopted to analyse the data gathered includes descriptive, financial ratios (liquidity ratio, solvency ration, profitability ratio) averages, ranking and simple percentages are used for easy understanding. During participant observation, issues that relate to scarcity, price hike and other practices at filling stations were fully discussed and argued. This study gave first hand information on the malpractice by station managers and fuel attendants. It also gave insight on how artificial scarcity of products is perpetuated by these categories of petroleum products workers. This study thereby recommended that loading should be monitored and movement book well kept both at the depots and the expected destinations.
1.1 Background to the study
There has been a relative slow rate of growth in the Nigerian Petroleum sector for past decades with a far reaching influence of foreign presence. It is a well-known fact that the Petroleum sector in any economy requires great amount of technology, capital with seasoned and experienced manpower for national development, however all of these are insufficient in the Oil and Gas Industry and Nigeria as a whole. As of today 2014, the Oil and Gas industry is the mainstay of the Nation’s Economy with other sectors of the economy relying on it to function. The nation is sustained on revenue from oil and gas and this roughly accounts for about thirty percent (30%) of Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)and an estimated ninety percent (90%) of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings in the early 90s (Davidson, 2003).
Michael (2003) posits that the Nation’s Petroleum Industry generated about $231billion in rents, or $1900 for every man, woman, and child and oil has annually produced over ninety percent (90%) of Nigeria’s export income. In the year 2000, the Nation got over 99.5% of its export income from oil, making it the world’s most oil-dependent country. The role of oil and gas in the Nigerian economy cannot be downplayed as it has consistently maintained its position as the most active, ever changing and thriving sector of the economy and has been the mainstay of the nation’s economy since gaining independence (Egbuna, 2004).
According to Hallowey (1994) in every industry, challenges exist for business and sales of goods and services irrespective of set goals. Challenges may be associated with price fluctuations in the economy, logistics, marketing, product transport and storage etc. The Nigerian oil and gas sector is not totally free from these challenges in the handling and sales of petroleum products. Just like every other sector of the oil and gas business, distribution and marketing of products takes place on a vast global scale. Hundreds of companies and individuals daily buy these products from thousands of retail outlets all over the nation, with number of consumers running into millions.