By Amin Kef Sesay
Sierra Leone’s leading oil marketing company, the National Petroleum (NP) Sierra Leone Limited, has been very steadfast in its service delivery of high standard petroleum products which it imports since this country is not an oil producing nation.
Due to good managerial decisions the company has been doing extremely and exemplary well in terms of always ensuring the availability of those products in a timely manner which makes it possible for individuals to have ready access to them. It is no secret that the seriousness of the company, with regards ambitiously striving towards reaching the pinnacle within the business landscape not only in this country but far beyond, has heightened the confidence of its business partners to continue business relationships.
It must be hammered that NP-SL-Ltd is not extraordinary but like any business entity the company is susceptible to internal and external shocks that impact on its vibrancy and sustainability. Currently, the high exchange rate of the dollar to the Leone, meaning the Leone has drastically depreciated, is affecting many entities, creating inflation (prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed) and impinging negatively on the overall standard of living. NP-SL –Ltd pays for petroleum products it imports and understandably whenever the price of the dollar goes up then it means the company is spending more Leones to buy dollars in order do so.
Accessing the very dollar has turned out to be a huge task as it is scarce which has created a situation whereby the company has to go the extra-mile to get the required amount of dollars it needs from time to time to import the products it markets.
For such an important company to continue to thrive it is but very prudent on the part of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency, the Bank of Sierra Leone and other commercial banks to give it the maximum attention and support it needs in the company’s bid to do foreign exchange transactions.
There is no business entity in the world that will be dishing out its products, whether manufactured or imported, without receiving payments for them. Such has the tendency of killing that business entity and without understanding that dynamic some will just conclude that the owners and managers are not doing things seriously to continue to survive.
According to an in-depth investigation that was mounted by this medium it came out glaringly that NP-SL-Ltd, in good faith, entered into business agreements with certain entities on a loan and pay later basis but from what has so far transpired it seems as if those entities are reneging to live up to expectation. This is hampering the viability of the company which is why it is of utmost importance for those debts to be honoured.
It has gone down the annals of history that the company is impressively one of the most successful indigenous entities that is sustainably forging ahead when others have collapsed for a variety of reasons.
A marked reality of the company’s viability is evident in its opening of branches in Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, The Gambia and in all of those places it is providing qualitative customer care services to residents, making it a prime priority.
It has been established that NP has been meaningfully contributing to economic growth through payment of taxes and rolling out meaningful interventions in the discharge of its Corporate Social Responsibility which are transforming lives and improving communities.
The company has gained reputation for offering different jobs to Sierra Leoneans throughout the country where it is operating and this has helped in improving standards of living.
NP-SL gives preference to Sierra Leoneans with regards offering jobs, a clear indication that it is strictly poised towards adherence to the country’s Local Content Policy. Utilizing local talents makes it possible for indigenes to imbibe useful knowledge and skills through training exercises that could be applicable in other places.
The company has one of the best cooking gadgets, known as NP Gas that offers suitability for cooking purposes. There are different cylinder sizes and they could be located at all the filling stations of the company and also accessed from authorized agents or dealers.
In this digital age, moving away from the traditional way of transacting business has now become the norm. It is along such a line that it was thought wise on the part of the shareholders and Management to introduce the use of smart cards. With these cards, customers can procure petroleum products of whatever quantity they do desire.
“Using NP smart card always makes transactions very easy and convenient for me,” Amadu Koroma, an engineer informed.
For its solid service delivery to its numerous and esteemed customers right across the country, the company over the years, has gained widespread recognition and admiration evident in bagging awards from different organizations.
The latest was being awarded “Best Company of the Year” on 6th July 2019 during the National Business Award 2018/2019.
NP is really around for business, contributing positively to the socio-economic development of the country but it must be reiterated that contractual business agreements must be strictly adhered to by other parties so that such an important company will continue to operate unfettered.