7 December 2012

Liberia: U.S. Govt Gives LEC U.S.$9 Million

The U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided US$9.1million grant, directly to the Liberia Electricity Corporation to expand the electricity grid in Monrovia, including the Sinkor-Tubman Boulevard route.

The Management of the Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC) and the United States Embassy near Monrovia signed the grant agreement for the expansion of electricity at the LEC Head Office on Thursday, December 6, 2012.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, US Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Deborah Malac described the agreement as important in several ways, adding that it will provide funding directly to the corporation.

She said the US government's willingness to provide direct funding to the LEC reflects its confidence in the capacity of the current management there. Ambassador Malac noted that the responsibility to manage the funds will further strengthen the LEC's ability to manage complex, large scale activities.

Ambassador Malac, who signed the agreement on behalf of the United States government, noted that her government is working closely with the government of Norway to support LEC's accelerated Transmission and distribution project.

The US envoy noted that the LEC will receive over US$20 million from both Norway and the United States to significantly increase the number of connections, while improving the technical capacity in the energy sector.

She applauded the Government of Norway for being a major partner to the Liberian government and the US government. The Liberia Electricity Cooperation Chief Executive Officer Shahid Mohammad, said the expansion will cover the remaining parts of Monrovia that have not benefited from energy.

Signing the agreement on behalf of the Government of Liberia, Acting Finance Minister, Dr. James Kollie, said government appreciates the partnership with the U.S. and Norwegian governments in the energy sector.

Dr. Kollie, who arrived at the program very late after the US Ambassador and other foreign officials were seated, awaiting him for over 45 minutes, noted that the only way government can move the country's development forward was through the provision of cheap electricity. Dr. Kollie noted that Liberians are yielding for electricity and it is necessary for government to focus on the reduction of energy in Liberia.

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