By Amin Kef-Ranger
To make their products and services easily accessible to all and sundry across the country, the country’s widely renowned petroleum marketing company in the country also vibrantly operating in some countries in the West African sub-region, the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited has on Saturday 15th May 2021 commissioned an Ultra-Modern Filling Station at Mosongo-Njala Kori Chiefdom Moyamba District, Southern Sierra Leone, named as Gifted Hands Gas Station.
Gracing the occasion was the Director-General of NASSIT, Fuaad Dabor, the former Deputy Inspector General of Police, FUK Dabor among other personalities.
In his address, the Proprietor of Gifted Hands Gas Station, Hadji Dabo, expressed gratitude to the Chief Executive Officer of NP-SL Ltd, Kobi Walker and the entire Management of the petroleum marketing company for their relentless support in ensuring that the establishment of the Filling Station becomes a reality.
He also extended gratitude to the community stakeholders of Mosongo-Njala Kori Chiefdom for their support since the commencement of the project and up to its completion furthering that the commissioning of the new Filling Station shows that commitment and determination pay saying it is also a fulfilment of their vision to give back to society.
Hadji Dabo disclosed that the commissioning of the Filling Station in Mosongo-Njala, Kori Chiefdom, will help to ease fuel shortage constraints residents have been facing in that part of the country stating that it will help in creating jobs for residents of Kori Chiefdom and beyond.
He called on residents of Kori Chiefdom to take ownership of the Filling Station pointing out that it will not only benefit the Dabo family but also the majority of the residents of Kori Chiefdom and its environs.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited, (NP SL-Ltd), Kobi Walker, assured residents of Kori Chiefdom that with this new Fuel Station the issue of fuel shortage will become a thing of the past.
He maintained that NP-SL remains firm in optimizing customer care disclosing how they are doing exceptionally well in the importation and marketing of petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, Gas and lubricants of which the most widely used and sought after is Castrol Oil.
The CEO said with the new Filling Station in Kori Chiefdom such will not only make fuel available for residents at all times and went on to extend thanks to Hadji Dabo and Jorfui Kandeh-Dabo (Mrs), wife of the former, for believing in the mission and vision of NP-SL Ltd which, he said, prompted them to partner with the Proprietor.
He also extended appreciation to His Excellency, President Maada Bio, for making a great decision when he was Head of State in 1996, by not allowing various international companies that showed interest to take over NP-SL intimating that His Excellency, at that time, said the company should be left in the hands of Sierra Leoneans furthering that the President knew that if NP-SL is operated by Sierra Leoneans they will, in turn, empower other Sierra Leoneans which, he said, that is what they are doing currently as a company and in that regard he encouraged all to see NP-SL as their own saying the company is owned by Sierra Leoneans.
In his statement, the Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), Dr Brima Baluwa Koroma, commended NP-SL Ltd for commissioning another NP-SL Gas Station in the Southern Region.
He revealed that PRA was established to license and to regulate the efficient importation, storage, transportation and distribution of petroleum products to ensure their regular availability to consumers across the country, adding that when they took over they met 200 Filling Stations in the country but said within three years there are now 340 Filling Stations nationwide.
The PRA Boss said as a regulating agency they are not satisfied that most of these Filling Stations are within Freetown with limited ones in the provinces and went on to encourage NP-SL Ltd and investors to continue the good work in terms of efficient national service delivery by extending its operations to other deprived areas in Sierra Leone.
He disclosed that NP-SL Ltd is contributing over 500 Billion Leones in the payment of taxes to the Government yearly adding that last year they made 753 Billion Leones of which he said NP-SL Ltd contributed 60 percent of the said amount raised by PRA.
Dr Koroma reassured the Oil Marketing Companies of the Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
The Honorable Member of Parliament for Constituency 098, Moyamba District, Hon. Dominic Lavalie-Tshombe described the construction of the Filling Station as a laudable venture geared towards addressing the issue of fuel scarcity in Kori Chiefdom and its environs.
He said that as an Honorable Member of Parliament he has been looking for private local investors that can boost the efforts of the Government, adding that with Gifted Hands Gas Station strategically placed in his Constituency it will serve the entire Njala Community and its environs.
He said that intermittently there have been undesirable issues relating to the accessibility of fuel in Kori Chiefdom especially in times of crisis but said he is of the strong conviction that with the new Fuel Station those will be things of the past. He further thanked the Proprietor and wife, Mr. & Mrs Hadji Dabo and their family for rolling out the brilliant initiative in bringing development to the town.
Lamin Kamara, a representative of Bike Riders in Kori Chiefdom expressed appreciation to Mr. & Mrs Hadji Dabo and NP-SL for the commissioning of the Filling Station in Kori Chiefdom, noting that as bike riders they have been faced with a lot of constraints in securing fuel furthering that they had to go to nearby villages to secure fuel but said with this new NP-SL Filling Station it will surely address those constraints.
Mrs Jorfui Kandeh-Dabo gave a synopsis of how the Gifted Hands Gas Station was conceived and developed.
The event was climaxed with the cutting of tape by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited, (NP SL-Ltd), Kobi Walker, the Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Dr Brima Baluwa Koroma, and the Honorable Member of Parliament Constituency 098 Moyamba District, Hon. Dominic Lavalie-Tshombe, signifying the opening of the new Filling Station.