NP’s Kobi Walker Discloses Bad Debtors to Sierra Leone Parliamentary Committee

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Kobi Walker

By Amin Kef Sesay

The leading petroleum marketing agency or entity that has currently become a household name in the country, the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL-Ltd) recently let the cat out of the bag when it boldly named and by extension shamed some of its debtors.

Intimating members of the Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry in Parliament, which invited the company to shed light on its present status, the General Manager of the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL-Ltd), Kobi Walker, disclosed how the company is really going through teething challenging moments to keep functioning well as it should within the business landscape saying such is not the fault of the petroleum entity.

In stating the reason for the status quo ante bellum, the General Manager further stated that the primary reason for being in such an awkward situation is simply because various Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies owe NP-SL colossal sums of monies which they are yet to honour well beyond the stipulated period of time when they should have done so.

He passionately informed how some time ago they supported the Ministry of Energy with a facility worth about Le22 billion but lamented that to date the institution is yet to settle the aforementioned debt. He furthered that under the West Africa Power Pool they rented the Energy Ministry a facility for US$ 1.3 million lasting for over three years but the amount of money the Ministry is supposed to pay is yet to be settled.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Industry, Honourable Veronica Kadie Sesay, stated that as a Committee they called upon NP-SL to explain its business activities and about other burning issues including implementation of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR], quality of its petroleum products and expansion plans to other parts of the country.

In his reaction, the General Manager of NP-SL explained to the MPs that his company supported the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces on a monthly basis with Le2.9 billion also pointing out that the Sierra Leone Police owes the company the sum of Le 1.5 billion.

He added that some Government contracted road construction companies like the First Tricon Group, Gento Group, CSE and the China Railway Group owe NP-SL over Le9 billion.

Walker said the amount of money that they had given out on credit basis to the various Government agencies and other companies is seriously hampering their overall performance.

The General Manager appealed to the Members of Parliament to intervene in order to help the company recover some of the monies their creditors owe them.

On behalf of the Committee, Chairperson Hon Kadie Sesay expressed appreciation to NP-SL for honouring their invitation to appear before the Committee in order to discuss issues relating to the company.

She pointed out that some of the present challenges faced by NP-SL could only be handled with the support of the Sierra Leone Parliament.

“We will try our best to look into the concerns raised so far and as a Parliamentary Committee we will endeavour to placate the MDAs in question so that we will address the issues raised,” Hon Kadie Sesay promised.

 

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