From fuel tankers shortchanging fuel stations on a daily basis to fuel purchase irregularities frequently occurring among vehicle fleet drivers, the retail fuel market in Nigeria is peopled with problems.
According to estimates, the average monthly volume sold from a retail fuel station in Nigeria is 300,000 litres, yet fuel stations lose 2% of average sales as a result of sabotages, stealing from fuel tanks, and shortages created from fuel tankers, thereby posing a huge threat to the retail fuel market.
For example, a fuel station could pay for 35,000 litres of fuel supply, but receive 34,000 litres from the fuel tankers — a trend that government policy has not been able to tackle nor has the country’s petroleum regulator, NNPC been able to eliminate.
That’s why Energy360 Africa, a data analytics and technology solutions company, began in 2017, to pioneer new technologies for the downstream oil and gas sector.
With a flurry of innovative fuel management solutions mostly IoT-enabled, the company wants to help small, medium and large businesses optimise fuel consumption and management while boosting their revenue and maximizing profits.
According to Abayomi Elebute, Energy360 Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, its fuel technology solution has reduced losses by over 60% for over 150 fuel stations in the past two and half years since its launch into the Nigerian market.
Elebute, who led the design and development of Konga’s data warehouse during his two-year stint as a data engineer, and later worked as a Data & Analytics Manager for PwC, says his company is using technology and data analytics to curb fuel fraud while digitising the retail fuel industry.
Last week, the company officially unveiled innovative fuel management solutions for the retail fuel market in Africa, including E360 Station Manager, an innovative cloud-based software designed to optimize fuel station operations, margins and ensure proper controls on the forecourt.
Energy360 Africa’s Station Analytics caters to businesses that run multiple stations, delivering real-time data from their network of stations at any time and location. With this analytics, businesses are able to handle big data, sales, stock, payments and other operational information which are aggregated to provide holistic and granular visibility of their stations, thus enabling more accurate decisions.
The solution centralises data across multiple fuel stations, allowing for greater insights into stock levels, pump activity, pricing, margin management, historic sales trends, expenses and customer behaviours. With the platform, fuel station owners can track real-time sales, the number of customers, get insights on their kind of customers and how they buy fuel, so they can make good business decisions.
With e360 Volex, the company offers businesses flexibility and improved controls over fuel management through access to real-time data from fuel points, which is ideal for fuel fleet management, allowing vehicle fleet owners to know exactly the amount of fuel that their drivers purchased from a fuel station. There’s also a card-based solution that lets you purchase fuel from registered fuel stations without paying cash, allowing you to track and manage your fuel consumption.
Elebute told Techloy that the fuel owners are trained on the adoption of its fuel technology solution for up to two weeks and are continually assisted to understand how to track and monitor the real-time fuel inventory and sales data from the analytics dashboard.
The company says it currently has more than 155 registered fuel stations in over 18 cities across Nigeria, which it is helping to track and monitor their inventory and sales using IoT devices and data solutions.
Another important solution from Energy360 Africa is Fuel Authorization & Management System (FAMS), a cloud-based solution that provides improved controls and real-time data during fuel distribution, making it easier to accurately account for fuel products, either individually or collectively, at points of receipt, storage, distribution, consumption and issuance.
The company’s technology and processes is expected to help cut down on losses for the retail fuel market through its reconciliation and fraud analysis, including alerts on stock and sales exceptions, proof of deliveries and automated replenishment, forecasting and reducing the risk of fuel scarcity.
With over 9 million litres of fuel monitored daily and over 1,650 pumps and tanks integrated, the company is definitely on to something great as it gradually disrupts the fuel industry with its home-grown technology.