By Amin Kef Sesay
The National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL) Ltd) is right on the top of the petroleum marketing business in this country. This fact is well established when we take cognizance of the timeliness in which the company ensures that various petroleum products are imported and distributed to different parts of the country where it has Filling Stations for onward sales to members of the public.
It is no gainsay that for far too long the company has been steadily operating in this manner in order to make sure that its products are easily available for its subscribers to gain access to them.
Indeed, it has come out very clearly that for any business venture to thrive there must be a convergence of good initiatives bordering on brain storming, strategizing and thorough implementation of sound policies which will finally culminate in tangible realities on the ground. In Sierra Leone, the National Petroleum Limited has cautiously tread along that pathway with its shareholders recruiting managers with the requisite qualifications devoid of favouritism and sentimentality who have been applying the right managerial skills and leadership that today have helped catapulted the company to one of the most dominant entities in the business landscape of the country.
The shareholders of the company has maintained that stance over the years and one thing they placed premium on is keeping the company as an indigenous business stressing that majority ,if not all , of its staff must be Sierra Leoneans which is in sync with the country’s Local Content Policy. Ensuring that members of staff are highly motivated, the company is getting the best out of their performances with the cascading effect of excellent outputs.
Besides having employees that are highly motivated, the company also ensures that they benefit from different forms of training programs in order to improve on their competencies. When this is looked at within the context of human capital development then it is considered apt and in the best interest of the country’s development trajectory.
If today much emphasis is placed on human capital development, for NP-SL Ltd it has been part of the DNA of the company and from what this medium learnt, the company has produced seasoned individuals with requisite skills, some after leaving setting up successful business ventures or are now excelling in other institutions.
Having the right brains in the right offices has placed the company at a vantage position to always bargain with its business partners when negotiating petroleum deals. Undoubtedly, the company is the leading petroleum marketing company in the country with its branches located in various parts of the city and provinces. Because of effective service delivery and rated as 1st For Customer Care, NP-SL Ltd has become very endearing to many in and out of the country. One important thing that the shareholders of the company have seriously guarded against is to avoid a situation where its customers and members of the public will express bitter dissatisfaction about the quality of the products it is marketing and the services it renders.
Against such a backdrop, the company has a customer care unit that primarily interface between the company and members of the public. Concerns and recommendations channelled through it are raised in certain management meetings, discussed and the way forward mapped out.
Regarding their customers as priceless jewels, NP-SL Ltd ensured that to give them optimal satisfaction value must be derived from their monies spent. It was thinking along that line which prompted the shareholders of the company to replace their old fashioned pumping machines to calibrated pumping machines of high standard which transparently pump the requisite quantity of petrol or diesel demanded for. Confidence is now high among its customers that they getting exactly what they are paying for.
Still within the ambit of optimising customer care, the company introduced both NP Gas and NP Smart Card. The former is a cooking gadget, which is now in vogue, going like hot cakes because it has been proven to be very effective in terms of performance, cost and non-hazardous to human health. The latter is a card that has a memory chip and could be credited with money. This NP Smart Card is used to purchase fuel without carrying physical cash and it is very advantageous for personal safety and accountability purpose because the balance remaining on it, after using it, will determine how much was used during a given transaction.
With regards rolling out its Corporate Social Responsibility, it has been doing so in ways that had been and are positively contributing to the socio-economic development of the nation. Though the shareholders and Management are not averse to making news about such gestures yet they are not too keen about bragging about them because, according to them, they are doing such for the sake of humanity.
With sound brains at the helm of affairs of the company, many are getting the best of petroleum products as well as services for which the company has bagged so many accolades.