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By Amin Kef Sesay

In a nationwide conducted  survey that this medium recently concluded  mainly geared towards gauging the views of most people as to whether they are aware of the existence of and the activities of the National Petroleum (NP) Limited Company, quite interestingly, what came out vividly from the two weeks exercise was that the vast majority captured acknowledged that they are well aware of the existence and viability of one of the country’ leading and exemplary indigenous business entity that deals in petroleum products.

It was really amazing to realize that NP has become a household name within the country.
Certain people opined that with the dynamic and result-oriented Management team at the helm of affairs at NP, commendable strides will be continued that would definitely catapult the company to higher heights thereby putting it at a very vantage position to expand and
positively contribute towards national development.

“From a humble beginning, NP has indisputably become one of the giant and most successful companies in the country with a remarkable reputation of performing very efficiently within the business landscape,” Abdul Sheriff a seasoned engineer and former worker of the then Sierra Leone Refinery Company maintained.
The company was extolled for its timely honouring its tax obligations to Government via the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and for effectively rolling out its Corporate Social Responsibility that have been improving the wellbeing of the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans.

One thing why the company is nationally highly regarded, hinges on its pro-activeness with regards ensuring affordable petroleum products are always on the market.
Digging into the annals of history, it is very worthy to note that the former British Petroleum (BP) Company decided to sell its shares to the Government of Sierra Leone that was in existence at that time.
In 1996 the Government sold its 60% shares in BP to some of the company’s members of staff. 55 % was paid upfront from the end of service benefits of the workers from BP and the 5% offered to all the other workers. Thus a new company known as LEONEOIL started
operations.

It was the World Bank that proffered advice for the privatization of the company. The 55% sale of Government shares to NP therefore came as a result of the World Bank’s admonition. 4 companies took part in the bid, but it was LEONOIL that won the international competitive bidding that was conducted by Arthur De Little (a United States based Management consultancy firm). LEONEOIL later on metamorphosed into NP, meeting all the set criteria. It was understood that the members of staff were very serious and capable enough to properly manage the company to such an extent that, unlike others, it survived most of the challenges that it had encountered.

This medium also gathered that the 40% PMMC’s stake in the company, owned by the late Jamil Sahid Mohammed and Tony Yazbeck, was given as collateral for a loan from a Bank by one of the parties.

Jamil Sahid Mohammed, later sold to Cape Oil PMMC’s 40% shares to offset a fidelity loan, but LEONE OIL was not satisfied with that move and took the matter to court on the grounds that it was in violation of the M and A, which dictates that the other side has the first option to buy. The outcome of the matter was that the High Court gave judgement in favour of LEONE OIL.
Erroneously some have been misinforming that NP is unsavorily dominating the petroleum market in the country, which has turned out to be very misleading, as it was confirmed that there are other Companies marketing petroleum products that are registered with the
Petroleum Agency.

Relatedly, Petro-Leone is a storage company that was established by both Addax and Leone Oil (NP) so that petroleum products will always be available in the country and avert shortage.
Some have expressed the view that if such is discontinued, it will seriously affect the country, as shortage of fuel will frequently occur, causing a lot of inconvenience.
NP-SL has filling stations in different parts of the country, not only selling petroleum products, but also rendering other useful services to its numerous customers. It can be asserted that the National Petroleum Limited is one that has grown by leaps and bounds. It has made its mark and become a household name.

The company has provided employment for many individuals both in this country and other countries in the West African sub-region where it has branches. It offers NP Gas which is a high precision cooking gadget that is easily refilled with gas that the company sells. It is produced in different cylinder sizes and sold at the company’s Filling Stations as
well as its authorized dealers. Also, the company, in a bid to simplify the purchase of fuel introduced NP Smart Card which makes it comfortable and convenient to buy fuel without using physical cash. It is now trending. For its good performances over the years, NP-SL has proudly bagged various awards from reputable organizations.

Speaking to a top Management official of the company, he intimated with dogged determination that they are poised to serve this nation diligently by doing their best to ensure that petroleum products are available and within the reach of individuals and institutions. “Whenever it is possible we will continue to complement Government’s efforts in undertaking development programmes nation-wide,” he promised.
Many are indeed proud of the indigenous  petroleum company. 

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