NP Continues to Make Waves

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The National Petroleum (NP) Company is undoubtedly one of the most ‘battle-tested’ but very successful companies that this country should be proud of. Without any iota of exaggeration, it is very incontestable to posit that for a company like NP, which is exclusively owned by Sierra Leonean shareholders, to attain such a status is a feat that is worthy of high commendation.
Interestingly, the owners of NP are mainly staff of the former British Petroleum Company which sold its shares to the Sierra Leonean Government years back. However, in 1996 Government sold its 60% shares in NP to some members of staff who were working for the company. Again it was made known that 55 % was paid upfront from the end of service benefits of workers from BP and the 5% offered to all the other workers. Thus the company known as LEONEOIL was formed.
The 55% sale of Government shares to NP came as a result of the World Bank’s advice to privatize the latter. It was also revealed that among the 4 companies that bided, which include ELF, LEONOIL won the international competitive bidding conducted by Arthur De Little, a United States based Management consultancy firm hired by the World Bank.
It is important to note that World Bank, which advised Government to privatize NP, monitored the bidding process for the three international companies and one local company that competed and noted that LEONEOIL which metamorphosed to NP met all the criteria set.
These members of staff were indeed serious enough to properly manage the company to such an extent that, unlike others, it survived most of the challenges that it had been encountering throughout the years it has been in existence.
Investigations mounted revealedthat 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 sold to Cape Oil PMMC’s 40% shares to offset a fidelity loan but LEONE OIL took offence and went to court with the complaint that the move was in violation of the M and A which dictates that the other side has the first option to buy. The High Court subsequently gave judgement in favour of Leone oil.
Rumours making the round that NP has a monopoly over the petroleum market are misleading as there are other Marketing Companies registered with the Petroleum Agency, marketing petroleum products in the country namely.
Petro-Leone is a storage company developed by both Addax and Leone Oil so that petroleum products will always be available in the country and avert shortage. Experts further stated that if such a venture is frustrated the country will return to the former state of shortage of fuel and long queues will once more surface across the country.
The company has provided and is still providing jobs for Sierra Leoneans and it was understood that workers’ conditions of service are very good. Besides, NP is one of the large tax payers to the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and by extension is positively fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility. We can safely conclude that the company is largely contributing to overall national development
As it now stands NP is operating in neighbouring Liberia and there are plans underway for additional expansion that shall take place both within and outside the country.

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