NP-SL Expresses Determination to Market Qualitative Petroleum Products

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By Amin Kef Sesay

Speaking to residents in different parts of the country, with a view to sound their opinions about the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd),  majority intimated this medium that they are very delighted for the company to make it possible for them to for gain access to high quality petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, gas, kerosene as well as lubricants one of which is Castrol oil. “We have gone through the excruciating experience of utilizing bad petroleum products which damaged our appliances and putting an additional strain on our financial purse to pay for repairs,” Abu Kalokoh the Chief Executive Officer of Forward Africa, a privately owned company based in Freetown, revealed. He explained that the said fuel was producing a very offensive smell and expressed surprise why it was not inspected by the requisite authorities to verify whether it was fit for public consumption, a concern that resonates with the views of others that were contacted.

They agreed that there is every need to be grateful to the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd) for making available those items. Some may want to ask grateful for what when in actual fact the company is only doing business to make profits. But when looked at from the flip side it dawns that to invest and conduct business of such nature in petroleum products is not as easy as selling peanuts because it not only demands huge capital but prudent managerial initiatives.

According to what we were informed from our tender ages, this country is endowed with a huge deposit of crude oil but since time immemorial that deposit has not been meaningfully tapped to bring economic benefits. One could recall some of our elders telling us that at one point in time the Government that was in power wanted to enter into an agreement with an oil company to extract crude oil but gave a condition that whatever they discover while undertaking exploration work will not be accounted for. Knowing that apart from the said oil there are other minerals below the sea beds the President of this nation by then backed out of the negotiation simply because if an agreement is sealed it will be inimical to the economy of the country. That was how and the main reason why the country’s said oil deposit still remains in a virgin state. Whether this is a fable or not will only be known from an authoritative source.

However, what is very certain and true is that Sierra Leone still depends on the importation of refined petroleum products especially when the country’s only oil refinery company was completely vandalized during our 11 years senseless war. For years now the most outstanding oil marketing company that is importing and marketing petroleum products in the country is indisputably the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited and it has been doing so effectively and efficiently to the delight of many.

Established years back by 35 ambitious Sierra Leoneans, former workers of British Petroleum company, who bought shares when that entity was folding up, NP-SL ,through prudent managerial competence and the selflessness of its shareholders, is today one of the most successful indigenous companies that has left its footprints on the sands of time. The success of this enterprising business institution is indeed a living testimony that a small idea could germinate and grow into a cotton tree with branches that will provide shelter for many.

As a mere seed that was planted by the original shareholders, NP-SL has indeed grew up to become an Iroko tree with branches extended to neighbouring Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and The Gambia. In those countries one will find NP vibrantly alive and kicking. Job opportunities have been provided to those who were hitherto unemployed. National Governments in those countries are deriving timely payment of taxes by the company and lives have been positively transformed by benefitting in one way or the other through the resultant effects of rolling out its Corporate Social Responsibility.

Being the most vibrant oil marketing company operating in the country NP-SL is well known for First for Customer Care, as the company has etched its name for what some have described as having the magic wand to capture and impress old customers and making new ones. Our investigation however revealed that there is nothing like a ‘mystical connect’ within this context, but rather the nice manner in which employees of the company are responding to the needs and concerns of customers is always exceptionally unique to such an extent that many are left magnetized and attached to it. It could be said with all amount of certainty that the company operates an open-door-policy, which creates room for business negotiations with private individuals, entities and public institutions in order to enter into a win-win relationship that are less burdensome in more fiscal advantageous ways. Such negotiations may take the form of supply and pay later as well as giving discounts.

With the main objective of enhancing transparency at the company’s countrywide and sub-regional branches, NP-SL ensured that the latest calibrated pumping machines are installed and when in operations, the quantity of fuel bought is displayed as well as the prices. This has reposed much confidence in customers that they are doing business with a very sincere company as against past experiences recounted, whereas customers get less than what were paid for, leaving in its trail, widespread dissatisfaction. But with NP, it is completely a different story.

In the same realm of optimizing customer care, NP-SL puts on offer for sale NP Gas, a modern domestic cooking device, that is fast and environmentally friendly without posing any health hazard as could be encountered when using firewood and charcoal. Manufactured in different cylinder sizes, NP Gas could be accessed at the various filling stations and from authorized dealers all going at affordable prices..

With NP Smart Card, there is the saying that “ Your fuel on your smart card” as  one can get access to fuel at any given time as long as the filling stations are opened. Loaded with cash, these NP Smart Cards could be used to purchase the right quantity of fuel required by customers without producing physical cash. In a world that is gradually becoming cashless, the use of NP Smart Cards brings with it many advantages, one of the greatest being that of avoiding the excruciating pain of queuing, not to talk of the security that it guarantees the user, as it features make it quite difficult for someone else to deceptively use it. Of course it falls among one of the latest technological devices in modern times.

When we talk of implementing the Local Content Policy, then NP-SL is considered to be at the top as the company has always maintained the practice of first considering Sierra Leoneans in terms of offering employment opportunities, unless otherwise.

NP-SL Ltd is at this particular moment poised to continue its importation of qualitative petroleum products that many will continue to enjoy in this country and within the West African sub-region.  The company has made it a point of duty to always ensure that individuals get the best out of the rest despite the fact that all is not smooth riding as it is contending with certain challenges which it is professionally trying to overcome.

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