With almost eight years of uninterrupted governance process, Liberia still remains a nation wanting in so many areas: politically flatfooted; socially disjointed; economically wobbling. These are all scars of the years of conflict that so clearly identify the depth and length of the path toward full-grown normalcy.
There cannot be any successful argument about the Liberian government's endeavors and enormous strides in getting the nation up and functional once again, but it is also the truth that much remains to be seen to overcome the hurdles of restoring much-needed services that lubricate its desire to reach pre-war economic proficiency when Liberia was paired with developed nations. For example, Liberia and Japan had a paralleled gross domestic product (GDP) in the 19770s.
By then, according to economists, all sectors of the national fabric were dynamically operational and that investors were reaping the worth of investments because one of the most significant ingredients to economic growth and sustainability was affordable almost across the whole country.
Energy, the world over, remains the most reliable engine and the leading driver for economic and social up liftment, and it is against the backdrop that developing nations continue to take measures that guarantee its provision.
At present, Liberia's power needs are hugely mammoth as its desire to experience an exceedingly economic boom, and this is why Liberian government officials have crisscrossed parts of the world, reaching out to bilateral and multilateral partners for the kind of assistance that enables the country reach the acme of its energy wants.
The most significant and contributory factor to the energy crisis is, that two of the country's power plants -the plant on the Bushrod Island and the Mount Coffee Power Plant- were destroyed during the course of the conflict and efforts to rehabilitate them still distances away due to the lack of financial capacity by government.
According to experts, both in the energy and economic sphere, the lack of sustained provision of electric power at full-scale pace to business partners, investors, and its citizens is affecting the economy. The little they earn from an already hostile financial environment goes to the purchase of generators, fuel and spare parts.
The European Commission also took note of the value of energy to Europe's economic penetration. Also, in an article titled "Untying the Energy Knot of Supply Security, Climate Change, Economic Competitiveness: The Role of Electricity," experts recounted the growing consensus worldwide that energy policies serving the current and future generations of citizens will have to respond to the need to drastically curb greenhouse gas emissions, to continue to ensure security of supply, and to find solutions that are both economically feasible and provide a perspective of economic growth and prosperity on a global scale, in particular for developing countries.
"Energy is essential for Europe to function. "Global energy demands are expected to grow by 60 % over the next 25 years. Secure, reliable and affordable energy sources are fundamental to economic stability and development. Rising energy demand poses a challenge to energy security given increased reliance on global energy markets."
This is why the Liberian government, in its quest to push a post-war country out of the abyss of under-development, and its way of encouraging more investments as possible, has to redouble its energy toward securing an environment where provision of power is sustained.
In Liberia, there are companies that have expressed interest in developing the energy sector. It is very essential for the Government to prioritize the provision of energy in the country today.
Remember Liberia is not the only country that can attract investors. There are several countries that are desperately seeking for golden opportunities that this country has today in terms of companies influx. Take for instance, next door country, Sierra Leone which experienced years of war like Liberia, is fast moving ahead in terms of revamping its energy sector.
If it is a fact that government and partners certainly recognize the significant contribution of power to the economic success of leading developed nations, then it behooves them to leave no stone unturned in knocking on the dollars of the willing minds to land Liberia a helping hand.
Liberians are aware of the willingness of leading companies of develop nations to provide Liberia a reliable and effective power that sustains it economically, but when this becomes a reality, is another fearing factor. These investors will not continue to sit and wait for Liberian lawmakers or officials to decide indefinitely.
There is now a growing anxiety amongst Liberians over the delay in the actualization of the promise made by Jindal Steel, an Indian company to build a coal-fire power plant here in Liberia to aid Liberia's energy need. An agreement was signed on September 10, 2013 between the Indian energy company and the West African nation during a visit by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
"The plant will consist of two 175 megawatt units and cost as much as $250 million, the company said. "The coal used to power the mine will likely come from Jindal's coal mine in Mozambique or from South Africa. The energy produced at the plant will be sold for a third of the price of what it currently costs people in Liberia to run a generator on diesel," it was stated by officials.
"I have a dream to light up Africa," said Naveen Jindal, chairman of Jindal Steel and Power and a member of the Indian parliament, according to The Telegraph of India.
"I am impressed by what they (Jindals) have achieved," he said. "The manner in which they have built plants in difficult circumstances and worked with villagers give us confidence to explore more possibilities."
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was excited about the development from India. But as it stands now, not much is heard about the take off of the project. Time is going by the day.
Liberians and their partners (investors) continue to endure the stress of sustaining their businesses and investments in a society where provision of electric power is at high cost. This is certainly a matter of urgency and government has no choice but to step up the speed.