There is a video that is currently trending on Social Media in which it is purported that the National Petroleum-Sierra Leone Limited is owned by politicians belonging to the All People’s Congress (APC) Party furthering that because of this ownership these politicians are trying tooth and nail to undermine the present SLPP sitting Government by hoarding petroleum products in order to create artificial scarcity and thereby make the Government very unpopular.
The aforementioned assertion is not only false but a calculated ploy to drag the name of a reputable petroleum importing and marketing company, that has no politician living or dead as one of its shareholders, to the mud, presenting it as a conduit for political gains and manipulation when the glaring facts speak otherwise.
To set the record straight, NP-SL Ltd came into existence after the then British Petroleum Company (BP) decided to sell shares to the Government of Sierra Leone. Later on, acting upon expert advice, the Government decided to sell the shares it bought from BP and thirty-five former employees of BP came forward and bought all the shares from Government out of their end of service benefits. This was how NP-SL Ltd was formed.
As a matter of fact it is on record that the Government at that time, the National Provisional Ruling Council, that decided to sell its shares was headed by the now sitting President, Julius Maada Bio.
It must be underscored at this point that it was the World Bank that recommended for the Government to privatize the petroleum sector and it was that decision which led to the formation of NP-SL Ltd by the 35 Sierra Leoneans.
Since that period there has been no time in history known when a politician has bought shares from the company. The message as portrayed in the Social Media video is therefore totally erroneous and does not in any way contain any iota of truth.
The reality of the situation at the moment is that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has affected easy access to petroleum products as 56% of diesel that is consumed Africa comes from Russia.
The economic sanctions that have been imposed by Western Countries supporting Ukraine are definitely bound to affect the supply chain and for a country like Sierra Leone which is a net importer of petroleum products it will definitely feel the crunch or the debilitating effects and
if the war continues then the situation will only become worse.
However, prior to the commencement of the war, Oil Marketing Companies were already grappling with the challenge of easily accessing the Dollar from the Banks in the country. Since petroleum products are bought in dollars if Oil Marketing Companies had not been accessing them easily then such has been posing a huge challenge negatively impinging on their resourcefulness to purchase these much needed products.
But the depreciation of the Leone to the dollar means that these Oil Marketing Companies, including NP-SL Ltd are really walking on a tight rope as their profit margins have of late been very unstable.
Although it is understood that fuel is available in the country that will last over time there is no certainty, however, how long it will last. What is now noticeable is that owners of Filling Stations are cautiously releasing their stocks by reducing the time of selling fuel to members of the public. This is why at certain times one could be lucky to secure fuel at a particular Filling Station and the next moment they will tell one that there is no fuel available.
However, it must be noted that even with the present fuel challenges, NP-SL Ltd is the only oil marketing company selling petroleum products to its numerous customers nationwide.
NP-SL Ltd has nothing to do with politics as its shareholders and Management Team are only particular on how to see the business grow from strength to strength.
Lamentably, the country has been reduced to a state where everything is being politicized by interpreting any major happening politically as if it is only politics that people care about in this country.
Earning the accolade 1st for Customer Care by NP-SL Ltd did not only materialize from the blues but came about out of the selfless ways in which the company is offering qualitative services to its numerous customers. It encompasses giving optimum satisfaction to all its customers evident in the company’s expansionist drive by taking fuel to hard to reach areas via opening of new Filling Stations to overcome Energy Poverty, the polite way Station Managers and Pump Attendants treat customers while attending to them ,the ambience and conducive atmosphere at the Filling Stations etc.
Besides, NP-SL Ltd is the only Sierra Leonean company that can boast of presence in four (4) countries in the West African sub-region namely in neighbouring Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and The Gambia where it is vibrantly functioning and operating smoothly.
It must be reiterated that NP-SL Ltd is not owned by politicians but by ordinary citizens who are business savvy and only keen on providing essential petroleum products with the aim of maximizing profits.
Any other way that someone might want to portray the company, especially giving the impression that it is anti-establishment or a political conduit, is far from the truth and a deliberate and calculated ploy to distort the real facts.