Is NP’s action against SKM tantamount to blacklisting?

The National Petroleum, which happens to be the leading Oil Company in Sierra Leone, stands accused of allegedly teaming up with others to blacklist another indigenous petroleum dealer company SKM.

The recent development of refusing vehicles of SKM from accessing the facility of NP at Kissy Oil Terminal has been viewed by many as a cover-up to protect the interest of Leon Oil Company.

Leon Oil Company is presently in court with the owner of SKM Jaffa Zighir. Jaffa took Leon Oil to court on allegations of the company refusing to allow him to take delivery of petroleum products he had paid for in full before the increase in fuel price. NP‘s Board Chairman, Tunde Cole, is the father of the Managing Director of Leon Oil Company, and it is being discussed in some quarters that there may be some ploy to prevent SKM from getting fuel supply from NP-SL.

According to investigations mounted by this medium, Jaffer had recently paid for fuel from Total Petroleum company and was issued an invoice to collect same from the NP-SL terminal at Kissy. Unfortunately, when his vehicles went there, they were refused entry and turned away on grounds that they should not be supplied any fuel. Interestingly, other dealers who had also paid to Total and had invoices from Total to collect their products from NP-SL got their supply. This matter was brought up to Total, who later provided Jaffer with fuel. On Tuesday 23rd March, Jaffer again was given another set of invoices after paying in full for supply of fuel, to collect fuel from NP-SL terminal at Kissy. Again when he went there, he was rejected. This continued occurrence of rejection by NP-SL to supply petroleum products to SKM, who produced an invoice from Total and was sent there by Total, has resulted in raised eyebrows as to whether NP-SL has entered the dispute between Leon Oil and SKM.

In a telephone conversation with the NP-SL MD on the issue, he said that he does not have dealings with SKM, which accordingly, is technically true, but has dealings with a sister petroleum company that offered the said invoices to SKM to collect fuel from NP-SL’s terminal at Kissy. According to officials at Total, there has been a very cordial relationship between NP-SL and their company and it is common practice among them to refer their customers with invoices to the terminal of another oil company, if at that moment they do not have enough fuel to service their customers.

What is baffling is the fact that other dealers with Total invoices were supplied their fuel from the NP-SL terminal at Kissy, whilst SKM was denied.  The question being asked is whether SKM has been blacklisted and could not get fuel from NP-SL, even if they have an invoice from another oil company with whom the NP-SL has an arrangement of cooperation? If SKM has been blacklisted, what is the reason for it? Is it because of the blood relationship between the Managing Director of Leon Oil and the Chairman of the Board of NP-SL, with the latter being the father of the former? Does the refusal to honour the request to supply fuel to SKM carried in the invoice of Total have anything to do with the on-going civil action brought by SKM’s MD (Jaffer Zeghir) against Leon Oil?

In all of these ,the Minister of Trade Dr. Hingha Sandy is alleged to have kept seal lips on the issue whilst allegations are being pointed at him that he is siding Leon Oil.

You Work the Mathematics.   

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