New Democrat (Monrovia)

9 November 2012

Liberia: LEC Loses 30 Percent Income

Power theft by "unscrupulous" residents of Monrovia and its environs is causing the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to lose 30% of its income monthly,

the chair of LEC's Board of Directors, Mr. Francis Cooper complained here Thursday.

"People should stop stealing electricity or illegally connecting others on our system. People are climbing the poles; they are by-passing the meters to the point where over 30% of the system generated over the period is just being stolen," he warned.

"People are not paying and with that situation continuing as we grow to produce more power, the theft would go up and it would get to a point where it would be very difficult," Mr. Cooper stressed.

Despite a campaign launched by LEC in the past few months to clamp down on power theft in Monrovia, unscrupulous residents have continued to steal electricity output from the company.

He said LEC is for use by the Liberian people, and urged everyone to protect it properly.

"Nobody is going to do it for us; therefore, I am appealing to our customers to cooperate with LEC as we endeavor to restore the system," he said.

Later, the Chief Executive Officer of LEC, Mr. Shahid Mohammad said management is committed to

reconstruction of the country's electricity infrastructure to serve a population of over 20,000 by next year.

But he said such effort can only be sustained if consumers demonstrated responsibility by avoiding continuous power theft that is costing the company over US$700,000 losses in a short period.

Meanwhile, Deputy CEO for Planning, Joseph T. Mayah announced that LEC has already begun working to electrify most communities in and around Monrovia.

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