Sierra Leone’s only 100% indigenous oil company, Leone Oil is ready to compete with other Oil companies after opening their first filling station and their office yesterday at Africanus Road, Old Road.
Leone Oil has taken exactly 15 years after it was established on December 7, 1994. But before that, the company was doing business through its retailers. Speaking briefly about the formation of the company, Alhaji Abdul Rahman Abdullah who served as chairman of the ceremony said the company was the desire and determination of Sierra Leoneans to have and develop their own oil company.
Explaining how the company came about, he said it was on December 7, 1994 when about 60% shares was bought by 35 Sierra Leoneans that opted for a tasking challenge. By then, he went on, $3.1 million was put in to pay for 55% which has grown steadily to a success that is ready to “take its place and ready to compete with other oil companies”
“In 1965 on the same ground, I witnessed the first AGIP filling station and today, I am here to witness the first Leonco filling station which is 100% Sierra Leonean owned and the owners are the staff members. 15 years ago when Leonoil was born, there were lots of problems in administration, non belief and it took some time to convince others that the only way forward is the private sector, but by then it was difficult” said Director, Vincent Kanu.
He extended appreciation to former Head of State, Rated Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for being instrumental when he was the junta leader for the realization of Leonco. He also paid tribute to Rtd. Col. Akim Jibril who was Secretary of State, Trade at that time.
Officially opening the Leonco House and filling station, Minister of Trade and Industry, David Carew acknowledged the company for breaking the mold of foreign nationals on the private sector. He said in business, building a structure was a symbol of permanency and Leonco has manifested that.
The Minister assured that Government was not frustrating growth but mentioned the series of frustrations received from the oil marketers, complaints about short delivery, adulterated products, informal participants and informal filling stations. By Ishmael Bayoh