President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has met and held talks with oil giant Chevron Corporation's corporate responsibility team, which visited Liberia to assess needs and to identify potential areas of social investment.
The six-member delegation, consisting of Chevron experts from all over the world, was led by Mr. Walt Maguire, General Manager of Chevron's Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Co., based in Houston, Texas.
Welcoming the delegation, President Johnson Sirleaf said that its large size showed Chevron's commitment to Liberia. “Let's get on with the partnership,” she urged.
Reporting on the delegation's fact-finding mission, Mr. Maguire informed the President that in discussions with government ministries and donors, the team focused on projects in the areas of skills development, vocational training, medical services, and market improvements.
The team had compiled plenty of data and would now prepare a strategic plan of what short-, medium- and long-term development projects could be undertaken in Liberia.
Responding, the President mentioned existing facilities that could be expanded and used for vocational training.
On market improvements, she said the goal was to move market women to the next level, from selling on tables to operating their own booths and stalls and distributing rice and other goods.
She applauded the team's interest in improving medical services, saying they were very much need and would be greatly appreciated.
President Sirleaf urged the delegation to get its projects started as quickly as possible, preferably in the dry season months through next April.
On oil exploration, the President said she hoped to see drilling by next year.
In August, the Government of Liberia entered into an agreement with Chevron to explore three deepwater concessions in Liberian waters over a three-year period.
Under that Concession Agreement, Chevron committed to support the country's social and economic development.
Other members of the visiting Chevron delegation were: Dennis Flemming, Project Director, Niger Delta Partnership Initiative, Abuja, Nigeria; Nadeem Anwar, Manager Community Engagement Advisors, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California; Simon Lowes, Senior Corporate Responsibility Consultant, Chevron Corporation, San Ramon, California; Jim Dawson , Nigeria Mid-Africa Strategic Business Unit Senior Advisor Community Engagement, Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Co., Houston; and Tam Nquyen, Senior Advisor, Chevron Corporation, Washington, D.C.
The delegation visited Liberia from October 9-13.