Dozens of stakeholders and beneficiaries of Liberia’s thriving electric energy sector have squarely blamed the rather uncontrolled wave of Power Theft squarely on the Liberia ‘s only energy management group, the Liberia Electricity Corporation and called for the outright privatization of the distribution section in particular and the entire LEC in general.
Speaking at the latest session of the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiatives (LMDI) People To People Media and Community Outreach blended platform named and styled THE DIALOGUE at the weekend at Kakata City the capital of Margibi County 45 kilometers North-East of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, the dozens of people mainly general users of electric power and victims of the theft of power in the city alleged that Power theft in their communities is being influenced, encouraged and run largely by the L.E.C. at the highest level of its national management.
The people of Kakata alleged that the L.E.C. National Management has openly allowed general illegal power distribution and connection through the sale of all L.E.C. materials to illegal customers above the announced stipulated prices at Kakata in particular and Liberia in General.
Kakata said L.E.C. Central office at Down Town West Point Monrovia flagrantly refuses to serve legal customers and rather caters only to illegal electric power brokers, dealers and beneficiaries in sheer disregard for all the publicized procedures.
The Kakata people condemned the entire L.E.C. operational scope as grossly corrupt in favor of senior and junior managers. Kakata alleged that L.E.C leaders are benefitting from the millions of United States dollars that the entity claims to be losing to power theft.
The L.E.C. claims to lose 60 percent of its annual revenue to power theft, but the people say L.E.C. is simply stealing from its self and making Liberia poor.
Amidst the outpouring of the condemnations for power theft, the Kakata forum unanimously called for the privatization of the L.E.C. to engender viability in Liberia’s energy sector, saying that the L.E.C. has failed the people of Liberia hence the entity should be privatized, citing the successes of the telecommunications industry through the GSM giants, LONE STAR CELL and ORANGE LIBERIA.
They even named the privatization of the electric Grade to the Liberian owned JUNGLE WATER GROUP OF COMPANIES in Nimba County in the North East of Liberia as a beginning success story in the energy sector against what they termed as the power theft prone L.E.C.
The L.E.C. Management was officially invited to the Kakata forum to provide the needed public education and information at the highest level, but they failed to respond to the invitation. L.E.C. high level public information personnel even failed to answer calls relating to the Kakata forum, though their local managers were willing to attend the gathering and only needed authorization to do so.
Though the L.E.C. Management failed to attend the Kakata anti Power Theft forum, Monie R. Captan, its new Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) in an earlier U.S. Embassy Moving Forward Together (MFT) series of Radio Program produced by the LMDI called for the privatization of the distribution and commercial sections of the energy sector of Liberia.
Power Theft in Liberia has been dubbed as an uncontrollably rife and dangerous menace, threatening the general energy needs of Liberia and economic recovery of the Liberian Nation by the United States and the European Union, Liberia’s two main contributing international partners to the energy sector.
The Power theft DIALOGUE forum sat at the Kakata City Hall and brought together dozens of stakeholders such as the civil society, the security sector and consumers of electric power of all kinds to discuss Power theft as a menace to the growth and development of their locality in particular and Liberia in general.
This Power Theft DIALOGUE forum at KAKATA was organized to give voice to the lingering unheard concerns of the thousands of stakeholders, general users of power and potential customers of the LEC in determining how power theft can and should be curbed to give way to the needed vibrancy of the energy sector of Liberia.
The forum at Kakata was part of a general advocacy intervention in governance and accountability issues in Liberia by Mercy Corps Liberia, Kvinna Till Kvinna Foundation (KTK) and the Government of Liberia with funding from the European Union under a four-year project named and styled, Supporting Effective Advocacy in Liberia (SEAL) with the aim to promote good governance and a vibrant civic sector during this critical moment in the country’s development.