By Amin Kef Sesay
Coming from its strong position at present, the National Petroleum Company is poised to continue doing business in petroleum products in Sierra Leone. The shareholders and management of the company have long ago decided to give the people of the country accessible and quality petroleum products and services to enhance a standardized environment within the petroleum industry.
This company has gained local and international recognition for its rise to higher heights with effective service delivery. The company always ensures that the general public has easy access to qualitative petroleum products. Customers as well as service providers would attest that the company is one of the most successful privately owned business entities in Sierra Leone and today, it can boast of controlling internal and external shocks.
The 100% indigenously owned and operated company has successfully stretched in the West African Sub-region such as Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and The Gambia with reports saying that it is doing extremely well in service delivery, Corporate Social Responsibility, job creation, new products amongst a host of others.
Customers formed part of a key arm of the NP-SL story as management has made it a priority to become the No. 1 for customer care. It is also open to a receptive behavior that encourages new initiatives, ideas, and suggestions that help to shape the policies of the company.
In order to give maximum satisfaction to customers, NP-SL operates in tandem with international standards and best practices in service delivery, customer care and value for money. The company’s filling stations are now the state of the art structures in the modern petroleum industry. They have brought a sense of competition in the industry that others are marvelling at and compelled to change their brands. Attendants at the stations are well trained and mannered on KYC and ready to assist customers whenever available. The stations have tire repairing sections, shopping marts and relaxation points to spend time.
“I always carry my NP Smart Card with me just in case my car’s fuel gauge will show red and I may not exactly have the required amount of money to refill or even if I have it such could be for another purpose. With my card I can just breeze into any NP Filling Station and by using my card the attendant will pump the quantity of petrol I need,” Amadu Bangura, an engineer said when asked about the card service which has unique security features that could not be easily falsified. “When I first heard of ‘Your fuel on Smart Card’ I thought it was a joke but only realized its efficacy when I started making use of it,” he further said. Customers say that they really find it very convenient in doing business these days with NP because the card makes it easy access to buy fuel rather than going to the bank.
Another important product is NP Gas. It has become talk of town as it is very suitable for cooking purposes and does not pose any health risks. It is manufactured in different cylinder sizes and marketed at all filling stations by authorized dealers at affordable prices; it can also be refilled for use.
On Corporate Social Responsibility, NP-SL Ltd is rated high for its contributions in improving lives and communities. The company has been supporting entities like the National Fire Force by facilitating the construction of a water facility at the Force’s Kissy Branch to provide accessible water supply for sharp responses to fire disasters in Freetown.
These interventions are worth millions of Leones going back to society, with the lives of the people being improved in education, health and other social amenities. Human resource is key in driving change and development at NP. In this way, the company can be far argued to be the only one that has fully implemented the Local Content Policy in enhancing entrepreneurship, employment and poverty reduction. Its employment policy towards indigenous people is replicated everywhere from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, etc.
Apparently, the premier oil marketing company is poised to continue improving on its business strategies.