By Amin Kef-Ranger
Going down memory lane it could be recalled that the Shareholders of one of the vibrantly functioning importing and marketing petroleum business entities in the country, the NP-Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd), were mainly members of staff of the former British Petroleum (BP) Company, of which the latter sold its shares to the Government of Sierra Leone at that material time in the history of the country, way back over twenty years back ago.
In 1996 Government sold its 60% shares to these members of staff who were working for the British Petroleum Company. 55 % of the shares were paid upfront from the end-of-service benefits of the workers of BP and the 5% offered to all the other workers.
It must be noted that the 55% sale of the Government’s shares came as a result of the World Bank’s advice to privatize.
Since that time NP-SL Ltd was born and became a purely indigenous-owned company.
There is not a single iota of doubt that the National Petroleum-Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd) is currently the premier oil marketing company that has been doing extremely well in the areas of importing and marketing various petroleum products in the country, notably petrol, diesel, gas, and lubricants of which the most outstanding is Castrol oil.
The company has never reneged in doing so save only in certain situations where, as a result of unforeseen contingencies, most often beyond its control, there has been some delay. However, in such circumstances measures are quickly rolled out to address them and restore normalcy in the supply chain.
One of the laid down policies of the company is that which places a premium on enhancing or maximizing customer care to create a situation where its customers are always made to feel good and satisfied.
Indeed, it is in that light that a conscious move was made to make the company’s Filling Stations very attractive and welcoming. Built in state-of-the-art fashion, painted with yellow and green paints, these sales points are very spacious to accommodate a fleet of vehicles, are very eye catchy and in some of them, there are shopping marts where customers could purchase basic items and even relax to socialize.
To promote transparency and win the trust of its numerous customers as well as match up with international standards, it was decided on the part of the company to invest so much in procuring and installing calibrated pumping machines. These have the capacity to pump the exact quantity of fuel in vehicles and containers to the utmost satisfaction of buyers.
One very striking feature which NP-SL has so far exhibited, to the admiration of many, is its strict adherence to the country’s Local Content Policy. Enhancing local content has its attendant merits one of which is creating employment opportunities and ensuring that monies paid to workers are not remitted overseas.
The National Petroleum-Sierra Leone Limited is one of the few companies in this country that has successfully implemented its internal policy of giving employment preference to Sierra Leoneans. This is indeed very impressive and is helping in major ways to reduce poverty.
If today NP Gas is going at the pace of a Supersonic Jet, in terms of sales, then this is simply because it has been discovered that it is very fast, efficient, and environmental friendly for cooking purposes. Besides, it can be refilled without going through the hassle of having to find gas elsewhere as the company markets gas alongside petrol, diesel, and other lubricants. They are manufactured in different cylinder sizes and are easily accessible.
What is much talked about today is the NP Smart Card. As the name suggests the card is so smart to such an extent that as long as it is loaded with money it can be slotted in the calibrated pumping machine and after demanding the amount of petrol or diesel requested, it churns out the exact amount plus displaying the price. It is trending, secured and convenient to use.
“NP Smart Card works well and since I have been using it I always procure fuel for my car and generator in record time. Using it, there are many benefits one can derive,” a Civil Servant, Mohamed Jusu, underscored.
The company stands tall for having vibrant branches operating in Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and The Gambia where they are operating efficiently, offering jobs, and paying taxes to Governments.
NP-SL indeed has a humble beginning but today it has become a towering company with supported Filling Stations in almost all the districts in the country offering qualitative and timely services to its numerous customers. Management is determined to continue to make more inroads within the petroleum landscape of the country.