Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has pledged the Liberian Government’s fullest support and protection to the French petroleum giant TOTAL in its operations in Liberia.
Vice President Boakai said government was impressed with TOTAL’s operations, especially the transformation it has brought to the gas industry in Liberia, adding, “When you have gas stations of the type that TOTAL has, it shows a positive sign of economic transformation.”
He noted that the quality of TOTAL gas stations has helped to improve the image of the capital Monrovia and other areas where they have been constructed.
Vice President Boakai gave the assurance on Friday, September 2, when a three-man delegation from TOTAL, headed by the Executive Vice President of TOTAL for West Africa, Mr. Stanislas Mittelman, paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office.
He commended TOTAL for the strides it is making to extend its operations outside of the capital Monrovia, and hoped they would extend their network of gas stations to remote parts of the country like Foya, where the unavailability of gasoline has resulted in a hike in the price of this commodity, with adverse effects on the prices of other commodities.
The Liberian Vice President thanked TOTAL not only for employing an estimated 700 persons which he noted is impacting the lives of thousands of people, but empowering Liberians to become entrepreneurs.
Briefing the Vice President earlier, TOTAL West Africa Executive Vice President Mittelman said the company currently boasts of an investment portfolio of between 35 million and $40 million in Liberia. He said TOTAL invests between US$ 6 and 7 million per year in Liberia in a bid to help revive the economy of the post-war country.
Mr. Mittelman who ended a visit to Liberia on Friday, said the number of gas stations his company has constructed in Liberia since coming to Liberia in 2005, will reach 20 by the end of the year.
Mr. Mittelman said TOTAL which currently has in its direct employ 700 persons, has also invested $12 million in transportation, which, he noted, will contribute to the speedy development of the post-war country.
He said the company plans to continue constructing more stations to cover ten of the country’s 15 counties by 2012 and the entire 15 counties in future. He said TOTAL plans to construct gas station in Ganta, Kakata, Zorzor, Voinjama, Zwedru, Greenville, Robertsport and Sanniquellie by 2012. Mr. Mittelman commended Vice President Boakai for the support he has continued to accord TOTAL since its arrival in Liberia.