By Amin Kef (Ranger)
NP (SL) Ltd continues to reposition itself within the petroleum marketing landscape of the country by gallantly maintaining its high held reputation as the largest importer and marketer of high grade and internationally approved petroleum products across Sierra Leone. Though operating in a free market economy where there is competition as there are other players within the landscape such as Leoneco, Cortex, Malador, the fact, however, remains that NP (SL) Ltd is currently, by every estimation, the leading oil marketing company operating in the country. This assessment did not materialize merely out of bragging or praise singing but rather a very objective one when cognizance is taken of the impressive achievements that the company has made through the years since its inception by 35 former employees of the British Petroleum (BP) Company who decided to invest their end of service benefits by purchasing shares and later become the owners of what metamorphosed into what we now today know as NP (SL) Ltd.
It must be underscored at this juncture that the meteoric rise of the company did not just materialize out of the blues but rather came about as a result of the selflessness of the shareholders and the Management. Through sheer commitment, steadfastness and implementation of savvy business initiatives the company was successful in establishing business contacts with reputable oil marketing overseas from which its does transactions to procure the high grade petroleum products that are marketed right across the country.
Having achieved that feat commendably, the company focused attention on how to give optimal satisfaction to members of the public and other entities that purchase its petroleum products. Placing premium on giving the best to their customers, the company decided to install in all Filling Stations that it has stakes in calibrated pumping machines which are highly capable of the pumping the exact quantity of fuel purchased. By doing so it succeeded in putting an end to the several complaints made in the past by customers mostly bordering on them been cheated in terms of not getting value for money based on receiving less than what they paid for at Filling Stations.
Promoting Local Content is one of the hallmarks of the company. With the aim of maintaining its identity as an indigenous business entity, NP(SL) Ltd , over the years made it a policy to source out employees who are exclusively Sierra Leoneans. It also outsources Sierra Leonean entrepreneurs, fuel transport owners and other service providers with the strong conviction that the company is contributing to the empowerment of Sierra Leoneans as well as to socio-economic development. The company has been warmly commended for maintaining this posture over the years.
To simplify the process of purchasing fuel at Filling Stations, the company introduced the use of the NP Smart Card, which is a card with an embedded memory chip, it is capable of giving command for quantities of fuel purchased at Filling Stations as long as the Smart Card has credit in it. The holders of NP Smart Cards, from time to time, credit it in readiness for other purchases. The NP Smart Card is now in vogue as more customers are now finding it extremely advantageous in procuring fuel more especially as it saves time, energy and above all is a secured way of conducting transactions.
Still with the aim of optimizing customers’ satisfaction, the company also introduced a cooking device known as NP Gas which before hitting the market went through various tests until it was finally approved as environmentally friendly and very precise in its performance. Manufactured in various cylinder shapes and sizes, NP Gas has gained a foothold in the country as it is used in many households with no resultant adverse effects or cases of malfunctioning. Sold at affordable prices, NP Gas is now being recommended to others by those who have experienced how it performs.
The company has gained a very good reputation for standing by the side of the Government and People of Sierra Leone during critical moments, evident in the swift response of the company during national disasters or alarming situations like the outbreak of the Corona Virus when it donated up to a Billion Leones to help combat the spread of the virus, how it decided to fund the construction of a Burns Unit at the Connaught Hospital in the wake of the Wellington Tanker explosion saga that claimed many lives, empowering the National Fire Force to easily access water by funding the construction of boreholes and others.
Mindful of the fact that it is dealing in highly inflammable products, the company has always scaled up precautionary measures and awareness on what and not what to do in situations of fire outbreaks. This was demonstrated recently when NP (SL)Ltd joined the world to commemorate ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’ on the theme: “A Safe and Healthy Working Environment as a Fundamental Principle and Right at Work”.
In all NP Filling Stations in the country there are trained Station Managers and Pump Attendants that professionally respond to the needs of customers. They treat customers in such friendly ways to an extent that the former are always eager and willing to continue doing business with the company.
Worthy of note is that at any time there is a fuel crisis in the country, NP(SL) Ltd is always the last bastion from which fuel could be accessed in the country which speaks volumes of how the company remains the biggest marketer of petroleum products in the country and it is religiously maintaining that position and it therefore comes as no big surprise that it has earned the covetous reputation of 1st for Customer Care.