By Amin Kef Sesay
One of the dominant companies that have been making steady progress, growing by leaps and bounds within the business landscape of this country is indisputably the National Petroleum-Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd). It is widely acknowledged that the company has dominated the petroleum trade in the country based on its proactive stance with regards the importation and marketing of high grade petroleum products including petrol, diesel, gas and lubricants of which one of the best is the widely used Castrol oil.
Being an indigenous company that cherish its numerous customers, NP-SL Ltd, over the years, has placed high premium on customer care, which it has effectively rolled out over the years to such an extent that it has earned the enviable reputation of 1st for Customer Care. It is within that realm that the initial shareholders of the company, thirty-five (35) of them, thought it entrepreneurially prudent to import and install modern calibrated machines at all its Filling Stations.
These are automated and high precision machines which have the capability of pumping the exact quantity of fuel that a particular buyer or customer requests for, displaying quantity (in litres) as well as the price(s). With these machines, contrary to what used to obtain in the past when less sophisticated pumping machines were used, customers have sincerely attested that they do derive utmost satisfaction whenever they do transactions expressing the belief that the process is really transparent.
Within that same domain of satisfying and providing care for its customers, the company made it a must that all its Filling Stations should have safety regulations. That is why it cautions its customers and others that they should not use naked flame, that mobile phones should be switched off, engines must also be switched off at Filling Stations when fuel is pumped among others.
In order to ensure that fuel is distributed timely to all its Filling Stations in the country, the company has maintained a fleet of tankers (vehicles that transport fuel) and they are regularly maintenance in order to ensure that they are roadworthy.
The company has also sustained an open door policy in the sense that it encourages customers to express their concerns as well as recommendations which the Management takes into consideration whenever major decisions are taken, geared towards the development of the company. It has been ascertained that whenever customers have the feeling that their inputs are well respected such does not only bring them closer but also gives them the satisfaction that they are indeed relevant and highly regarded. This is exactly what NP-SL Ltd does and that has been paying good dividends. As far as the Shareholders and Management are concerned their customers do matter.
With the avowed objective of making fuel transactions easier and very convenient for its esteemed and numerous customers, the company again introduced the brilliant idea of introducing the use of NP Smart Card. This is a cashless way of transacting business or in other words purchasing fuel without using physical cash. The holder of an NP Smart Card could present the card at any Filling Station, as long as it contains money, and request for the quantity of fuel he or she requires.
The card is then slotted into the pumping machine with the subsequent discharge of the amount of fuel into a car or jerry can. This method of conducting cashless transaction is very advantageous in the sense that a customer is saved the hassle of intermittently rushing to the bank to withdraw cash for the sole purpose of purchasing fuel. This is so because already his or her NP Smart Card is loaded with money for that purpose. Indeed, it also provides security as the card is securitized only having the particulars of the holder which cannot be used by another person.
Human beings cannot exist in the absence of food as it is a basic necessity of life. Food is prepared in various ways but one popular way of doing so is by cooking. In this part of the world, most households are dependent on largely using wood and charcoal for cooking purposes. However, the cutting down of trees to be used as wood and charcoal have been frowned upon by environmentalists on the grounds that such is contributing negatively to the depletion of the environment and pose other adverse consequences on the ecosystem.
Against this backdrop, the Shareholders and Management of the company thought it fit that to assuage that they must introduce a safer way of cooking. It was out of this idea that the initiative of introducing an environmentally cooking device arose and NP Gas was borne. Manufactured in different cylinder sizes, NP Gas has a high precision performance and to refill it is simple as the gas could be accessed at all the company’s Filling Stations in the country. Many whom have tried them intimated this medium that it is worth having at home and one could never regret having it but would rather recommend it to others.
NP-SL Ltd has etched its name in the sands of time for embracing and effectively rolling out the country’s Local Content Policy. As one of its major priorities, the company has placed high premium on giving employment preference to Sierra Leoneans. It is only on rare circumstances that the company make use of expatriates and in most cases it is when local personnel cannot be sourced.
In a country where accessing a secured and suitable job is like finding a needle on the beach for a company like NP-SL Ltd to avail Sierra Leoneans the opportunity to access job is indeed commendable. This posture, on the part of the company, has given the beneficiaries the opportunity to live improved lifestyles and have a sense of believing that they are contributing to national development.
A company that has vibrant branches in neighbouring Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and The Gambia speaks volumes of a serious business entity that is determined to grow. In all those countries, the company employs indigenes and is paying taxes to the Governments which in turn are used to fund various development programmes.
From what have been said so far, NP-SL Ltd is a company that is making Sierra Leoneans proud and is an epitome of selflessness with a strong passion to further climb higher heights. Indeed, the company is truly a success story!