By Amin Kef Sesay
The National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL Ltd) is seriously moving towards becoming more pro-active in terms of availing members of the public a wide variety of standard petroleum products that continue to match up to greater demands for these products. From an extensive investigation carried out by this medium over a period of time, what came out vividly was that the company has been rated high for efficient and effective service delivery, which most have found very pleasing, as utmost satisfaction is derived whenever these products are consumed by motorists, institutions and private individuals.
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.
Indisputably, from a humble beginning, NP-SL has turned into an Iroko tree with branches extended to neighbouring Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and The Gambia. In these countries one will find NP 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.
Whenever the name NP-SL is mentioned in public, what immediately springs to mind is 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 and 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 different.
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.
With NP Smart Card, there is the saying that one can get access to fuel at any given time of the day. 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 avoiding 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.
If Sierra Leoneans must be proud of a thriving business entity, then NP-SL could be a source from which that pride should emanate.
Though currently it is going through trying challenges, however, NP-SL is doggedly determined to take the petroleum landscape to another higher pedestal.