In Sierra Leone: Why Target Tunde Cole?
A Remarkable Example of Successful Entrepreneurship
Indigenous Sierra Leoneans are generally not known to be enterprising and capable of reaching the heights of financial and industrial success such as Dr James Sanpha Koroma of Union Trust Bank fame has succeeded to do.
One Sierra Leonean who shares such distinction is Mohamed Babatunde Cole, former Managing Director of the National Petroleum (NP) Sierra Leone Limited who proceeded on leave to retirement in November 2015 after a span of 39 years in the oil industry.
In the last ten years as MD of NP, he established NP Liberia.
Unfortunately, his detractors instead of commending him for his singular efforts to build a successful national oil company have written that former President Koroma, who is a very good friend of his, owns shares in NP. There is no evidence to the effect.
The National Petroleum Company has been in operation since 1954. On 5th May 1997, government sold 60% of its shares to the private sector.
On Thursday 12th January 2012, NP rebranded its image and officially launched a new logo and corporate identity called National Petroleum Sierra Leone Limited (NP-SL LTD). The company is privately owned by indigenes.
The Board of Directors played a pivotal role in all these developmental strides and sittings and company policies with mandate from the shareholders.
NP remains the biggest and largest in the petroleum industry for sustainability with the largest storage capacity in the country. Now NP sets the pace for others to follow.
With these accomplishments, when Tunde Cole retired from NP, he said with pride: “After such accomplishment, it would be graceful to bow out and use the remaining part of your useful life for yourself. I hope you now see the reason for that promise and have accepted that I should go and take a well-earned rest while making money for myself.”
Speaking at the Lagoonda Complex during his retirement cocktail that included former President Koroma, he said, “For those of you here who have been interacting with me over these years know that it has been journey well run; though it has not been easy.”
He told the guests that he realized he was inheriting a good company ten years ago and as such aware of the tremendous tasks ahead and to demonstrate his determination to succeed.
To this end, he promised NP’s Directors to make NP maintain not only the Number One position in the Oil marketing industry in Sierra Leone, but continue to increase its market share.
He also vowed to make NP (SL) Limited an icon in this nation with an international outlook in a national setting.
Mr. Tunde Cole success as the nation’s number one oil marketing executive stemmed from his acute business acumen and the good rapport he had with NP’s customers, the Petroleum Regulatory Agency and other government institutions, his supplier, and the good working relationship he enjoyed with the Board, Management and Staff. Team work, pulling together was how Tunde Cole managed to take NP to the heights.
To those who knew him professionally, what characterizes Tunde Cole as a successful CEO is his seriousness and very single-minded approach to his job as well as the ability to use relationships appropriately at all levels to make things happen despite difficulties.
As a philanthropist, Tunde Cole has contributed immensely to the Muslim community in the country and the development of Sierra Leone.
He is the only retired MD called to continue serving the country and has done extremely well.
As a patriot, he has been at the thick and thin of the country’s development in both good and bad times including the Ebola outbreak, the flooding and the mudslide.
To his people in Aberdeen, he is described as simple, modest and caring person who endears himself to come to know him. He is always willing to help individual and community endeavors.
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