TOTAL Liberia Inc. has modernized and rededicated its 5th Street filling station in Sinkor. The French petroleum giant celebrated the refurbished T-AIR filling station on July 23, with Managing Director Robert Fenech reiterating the Company’s commitment to investing and reinvesting in all of its filling stations across the country. The objective is for all TOTAL’s service stations to meet international standards. The 5th Street service station is first-ever service station built in Liberia by TOTAL in 2007.“The transformation of our 5th Street station into a modern reference service station under the T-AIR concept marks another important example of TOTAL’s commitment to invest and reinvest in its existing service stations,” Fenech said.According to the TOTAL Managing Director, the reinvestment is intended to raise the bar in standards offered to customers. With each TOTAL service station costing about US$1 million, our business desk covering the ceremony was told that the company reinvested about US$110,000.00 to improve the 5th Street service station. TOTAL Liberia Inc. has already opened 26 service stations in and outside of Monrovia over the last few years, including Tubmanburg, Buchanan, Robertsport, Voinjama, Zorzor, Kakata, Ganta and most recently, first TAIR service station in Gbarnga. Mr. Fenech disclosed that each TOTAL service station creates employment – 100% – exclusively for Liberians. “It helps develop communities throughout Liberia and contributes to drive the Liberian economy,” he added. He boasted of TOTAL’s unparallel track record in Liberia, “and our service stations costing US$1 million each are built to the highest quality and standards, respecting the most current international norms.” According to the TOTAL boss, the new T-AIR stations endow the company with added legitimacy when it talks about sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and public acceptance of its activities. He insisted that TOTAL will continue to invest in the new T-AIR concept in all counties, in line with the tenants of the government of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation (AfT), targeting approximately five new service stations projects per year.Mr. Fenech used the occasion to honor Mrs. Adah Clarke, manager of 5th Street station. Mrs. Clarke is TOTAL’s oldest young dealer managing her own service station on 5th Street. “TOTAL prides itself on giving our customers the right product, the right quantity for the right price. A million dollar service station is nothing without a million dollar dealer driving the standards which the Liberian consumer deserves. Mrs. Adah Clarke embodies all the qualities and competencies needed by a dealer to achieve these standards,” he said.He recalled how Mrs. Clarke’s hard work, honesty and commitment, sustained presence on the service station reconciling stocks, challenging transporters, checking cash proceeds, managing and developing her staff and building strong customer relationships have made her to succeed.“And through our highs and lows, Mrs. Adah Clarke has stuck with TOTAL and we have continued to enjoy a respectful, balanced partnership. And so when TOTAL decided to rebrand and transform 5th Street service station it is because Adah Clarke, as our longest serving dealer and partner of 7 years, deserves to manage the most modern service station in Liberia.” Speaking earlier, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) Managing Director T. Nelson Williams recounted how TOTAL is making crucial marks in the petroleum sector not only in Monrovia, but across the 15 counties of Liberia. Mr. Williams urged partnership between local Liberian own businesses and their foreign counterparts. For his part, Acting Commerce and Industry Minister Cyril Allen noted that his ministry considers TOTAL’s young dealership program as an empowerment for Liberians. “This program is a momentous one for us at the Ministry of Commerce and we appreciate TOTAL for it,” he said. Also making remarks was TOTAL’s Young Dealers’ representative Mr. Bobby Dorbor who thanked the French company for supporting the development of young Liberian entrepreneurs. Earlier, TOTAL’s retail manager Victor Wallace said the 5th street Service Station is not just a TOTAL service station, but a symbol of history as the first retail image of TOTAL Liberia. “More to celebrating a new image, TOTAL’s continuous investment in both infrastructure and human resources is a sustainable gesture,” he said.As Retail Manager, Wallace said he is well pleased in Management’s decision to launch T-AIR retrofit phenomenon in the country and particularly with the 5th street Service Station.Mr. Wallace added: “As a self starter, 5th street under the franchise agreement between Mrs. Adah Clarke and TOTAL Liberia has demonstrated hard work and resilience in meeting the challenges associated with the business of a service station as a true pace setter, and leader by example. “We are fascinated by your hard work and dedication to making this business a part of you, Mrs. Clarke.”Wallace, who made the T-AIR presentation, explained that the Total Air, remarkably referred to as T-AIR, refers to the company’s new retail network Image.According to him, T-AIR was born in 2011 and is transforming the landscape with more than 500 stations across Africa and parts of the Middle East. “We are particularly overwhelmed by the agility of TOTAL Liberia to adopt this change so fast and simultaneously embark upon the retrofit of already existent sites beginning with the 5th Street and Tarr Town Stations,” Wallace stated.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Just one week after the $20 across the board fare increase took effect, minibus operators are complaining that passengers are refusing to pay the new price.Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, several minibus operators complained of the uphill battle they are encountering everyday as commuters are refusing to pay the increased fares.A female conductor on the West Coast of Demerara complained bitterly that although the new fare structure is displayed in her minibus, passengers are paying the previous fare. “Them giving you they own thing and if you ask for the $20 more is a problem. Them wan go report yuh fuh harassment and all kinda thing them ah do,” the woman related.Another driver, Justus (only name given) who operates in the Route 32 (Georgetown to Parika) zone told Guyana Times, “Some passengers refuse to give us the increase which is clearly demonstrated. Most of us on the park have the fare structure and yet they choosing to give us what they feel like.”He said if passengers tell him they are short of a $20, he would try to understand their situation, but on too many occasions, passengers are refusing to pay.A conductor, Mathew (only name given), who works on the Route 42 (Georgetown to Grove) bus park said, “Some passengers would not pay the fare, while some would. If you just tell them de fare raise, they busing you. Is a good while now this thing deh out. Everybody should know what the fare gone to by now, so I don’t think is a situation where they don’t know is wah goin on”.One short drop car operator chimed in and said that the situation is the same over in the Ramp Road car park. The 56-year-old driver told this publication, “Is everybody tryin to make a living. The fare just raise by $20 and they don’t want to give us that. They complaining like we don’t have bills and things to do to”.“Some of us put up a thing in our car saying the short drop fare is $80. You know that people is still be foldin up $60 and giving we. What happen man, we don’t have to eat too?”Head of the United Minibus Union (UMU), Eon Andrews when contacted on Saturday said he was unaware of what has been happening since the drivers have not officially lodged a complaint.In relation to passengers refusing to pay the fare he noted, “I haven’t heard anything of that nature, but I have no doubt that that might be so.”Government in August announced its plans to hike the minibus fares in 10 different zones.The President of the Union told this newspaper he is satisfied with the Ministry’s decision to implement a $20 increase. He said, “It might not be a lot, but we are satisfied.”In June, the President of the Minibus Union submitted a proposal for not only a fare increase, but for several other requests to ease the pressure on minibus drivers.Although the call for a fare increase came at a time where fuel prices were constantly escalating, Andrews had noted that the call for the additional money was not only due to the fuel prices, but several other issues. Because of this, the Union’s President said even if the fuel prices lower, he would not be willing to drop the transportation costs.