By Amin Kef Sesay
With regards the importation and marketing of high grade petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, gas and lubricants one of which is the widely utilized Castrol oil, the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd) is said to be right on top of situation. The company is highly specialized in the transaction of these products, having numerous customers in every nook and cranny of the country which is continually and exponentially increasing. The Shareholders of the company and its various Management teams, over the years, have ensured that timely arrangements are made in order to avail its customers, right across the country, the much desired petroleum products.
However, one outstanding attribute which the company is noted for is its positive customer care stance. The owners of the company take this very serious out of the strong conviction that business will not positively grow well and expand if the concerns and needs of customers are not properly addressed. As a pro-customer company it is against such a backdrop that it was decided by the owners and Management of the company to import highly sophisticated calibrated pumping machines which are highly capable of pumping the exact quantity of fuel ,displaying quantity and price simultaneously.
These machines brought and continue to bring immense satisfaction to customers as it marked a departure from those days when rickety and manually driven machines were used, creating suspicions of being cheated by pump attendants at Filling Stations. It has been proven that individuals always feel satisfied when they are sure of getting value for money and it is that feeling which the calibrated pumping machines give.
“The company indeed proved its mettle when it brought in these machines as they do match one of the international standards of any modern efficient petroleum marketing outfit. It gives you the exact quantity demanded for, is electronically controlled and creates a win-win situation for the dealer and purchaser,” a Petroleum engineer, Solomon Tengbeh, intimated this medium during a fact finding assignment.
It was also mentioned by Lawyer Ismail Timbo that in addition to the transparent manner in which petroleum products are marketed the courteous ways in which the pump attendants treat customers is highly professional and exceptional further maintaining how NP-SL is a trusted company that operates in an orderly way and has a well-disciplined staff with incisive business etiquette.
Still within the realm of optimizing customer care and more so in order to simplify business transactions it introduced the NP Smart Card with the catchy phrase of Fuel on Your Smart Card. Customers are at liberty to purchase petroleum products, especially petrol and diesel, using the NP Smart Card as long as they have money in it. An individual can conveniently purchase petrol or diesel with this card inasmuch as he or she has money within that card. Whenever a purchase is made with NP Smart Card the amount of money is debited and when it is top-up the amount in the card is credited. This is one of the safest ways of conducting business transactions as it prevents individuals the hassle of having to intermittently withdraw monies from their bank accounts as that could be time consuming. As a matter of fact in this modern age, financial transactions are conducted without making use of physical cash and this is advantageous in the sense that it enhances safety. This is more so true for big entities, like construction companies, which purchase large or huge quantities of fuel to last over time.
“NP Smart Card is now trending as everyday more and more people as well as entities are accessing and also using it,” Momohjah Koroma, an entrepreneur living in Kenema city informed one of our reporters adding that he is recommending it as a major conduit to procure petroleum products.
In terms of effective implementation of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), NP-SL is said to be doing well. The company has supported many worthy causes, in some cases complementing the efforts of Government, in fostering development programmes. Just recently, NP-SL made available to the Government and People of Sierra Leone, one billion Leones as its support to help prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus and to help contain it. This was indeed no mean gesture considering the seriousness of the health pandemic, especially as the country is said to have reported 11 cases and the negative economic dislocations it is creating around the world. Such a gesture has been described as very timely with calls for other corporate institutions to give, in their own little ways, their support to Government underscoring that no support should be considered too small.
Still within its CSR portfolio, the petroleum marketing company financed the construction of a water facility for the National Fire Force, Kissy Branch. The state of the art water facility, powered by a kva generator it also donated, is capable of pumping a considerable amount of water into fire engines ,a move that is currently assisting the Force greatly in its fire extinguishing operations and knowing how unfriendly fire disasters could be, the offer has been considered as a big boost to the NFF.
To again give its customers the best device for cooking purposes, the shareholders and Management thought it fit to introduce NP Gas which is manufactured in different cylinder sizes and powered by gas which is marketed by the company. According to a thorough investigation mounted by this medium it was uncovered that NP Gas is environmentally friendly, very portable and safe for domestic use. They could be secured at the company’s different Filling Stations right across the country.
Commendably, the company has set an exemplary niche by going the extra-mile to establish branches in neighboring Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and The Gambia where all its state of the art outfits are doing extremely well, employing local indigenes and paying huge taxes to the host Governments.
The company stands tall for effectively adhering to the country’s local content policy as it has doggedly implemented a policy of restricting employment opportunities to Sierra Leoneans, making it a truly indigenous company except in rare situations where individuals with the required expertise could only be sourced externally to perform a specialized task. This has helped in reducing poverty and enhancing skills through staff training programs.
Indisputably, NP-SL Ltd is a living testimony of how selflessness on the part of serious like-minded people could transform a mere ambition into a towering enterprise that is capable of positively impacting on socio-economic development and transform lives for the better. In all those directions, the result-oriented petroleum business entity has bagged a lot of commendations. And from the pace it is going, though there are challenges to be surmounted, it however seems that such a resilience will be unstoppable because as far as the Shareholders and Management are concerned it is the sky that is the limit.