Bonny Light crude oil is a great commodity with unique properties. Its low sulfur level makes it one of the most desirable crude oil in the world today. However, its popularity is matched only by the great number of very unsophisticated chain of completely unqualified brokers and agents–with few exceptions–and other hustlers on the streets of Nigeria and the world over. No one knows the exact number of these hustlers in Nigeria. If I were to guess, I’d say it hovers around [at least] 5% of its population of 186 million. That is nearly a whopping 9 million people! The number is large due to the nature of the sale of crude oil in Nigeria.
Now, I keep running into an agent of an agent of a broker of an agent of… Well. You get the point. On our climb, before we reach the Dragon’s Head, or the seller, a most elusive figurehead, there is what everyone calls a “mandate,’ who is almost always a male too in the male-dominated world of Nigerian crude oil. This mandate, too, may or may not know all the ropes of this business and may represent more than one seller, which, in my view, would be a conflict of interest. Also, a seller usually has more than one mandate. He has relationships with different individuals who work independent of others so they can knock on doors and identify buyers. They, in turn, work with everyone under the sun who can find a real buyer, a humongous task all to itself.
At any rate, every one of these hustlers on the streets wants to be included as part of the transaction and receive a hefty monthly residual commission if a sale goes through just because they happen to have the next upline’s phone number! This is unacceptable and truly outrageous. With no qualification, they all want to travel the road from rags to riches overnight all because they happen to have access to someone’s phone number! Unbelievable, but true. I believe firmly that this unreasonable attitude is partly responsible for many broken relationships and deals falling apart. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I do believe that all these people should be compensated if their effort materializes into a consummated deal. But, a reasonable one-time commission should suffice. The alternative is to make zero. Which one would you prefer?!
Another reason for many deals ending before they even start is because of the untamed ego of someone who simply happens to know a legitimate seller. This person wants to be included in the deal and even negotiate the deal on behalf of the seller just because he happens to know the seller. The focus should be on making the introduction between the seller and the interested buyer or his representative possible so a deal could have a chance of survival as opposed to being drowned before the journey starts!
I am not trying to simplify these complex transactions. There are other factors involved, which I will discuss in my future blogs. Having said that, my respectful and pragmatic suggestion and advice to everyone involved in these relationship chains is to be practical and think positively simultaneously. The gain becomes possible only if the valuable information is passed on to THE intermediary who can make things happen, which itself is a positive light on the dark corners of this process. The attitude should be that no matter what side a person is on–the seller or the buyer side–all involved must think they are all part of the same team working toward the same mutual goal of a successful transaction. Sadly, few out of millions think this way. With the attitudinal change, however, hopefully there will be more deals having a survival, rather than withering, chance.
Globe Commodity Traders has broken through the barriers and is the official mandate for a few sellers in Nigeria. So, if there is an interest on buyer or seller side to work with us, please let us know by contacting us here.
Alex Nouri, Author