The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Protecting Public Facilities

editorial

THE LIBERIA ELECTRICITY Corporation (LEC) last Friday disconnected its power lines in the Borough of New Kru Town due to what the corporation term as power theft. LEC's Executive Director for Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Vamunyah F. Sheriff, disclosed that the corporation'senergy consumption audits conducted recently revealed that LEC lines have been tampered with through illegal connections by unscrupulous individuals who passed meters and other means to some residents of the Borough of New Kru Town.

MR. SHERIFF TOLD a news conference during the weekend that within two weeks of the audits, LEC power theft crew had removed over 300 meters which were illegally connected to electricity grip by some residents of New Kru Town. He said the 300 meters were removed from 40 light poles in Mombo Town, the Court House Area, Sannoh Yard, D. Tweh High School Community, Popo Beach and many areas. The LEC official further said this translates into 90% of its revenue lost each day and put the figure at US$4,000 per day.

THE LEC ALSO noted that the disconnection will remain in force until LEC audits in the Borough of New Kru Town are completed and if the problems persist, the Management of Liberia Electricity Corporation will disconnect again.Mr. Sheriff noted that anytime LEC attempts to take giant steps, and improve the system, the Management always encountered a severe setback with the old age problem of power-theft. Mr. Sheriff said the corporation will not leave any stone unturned to put measures in place and save the company from further losses.

THE REPORT FROM the LEC that a whole community or town has been disconnected due to power theft at a time when other communities are in dire need of such a facility is disheartening and must be corrected. It is very bad for people who are using public facilities cannot protect such facilities by paying their bills and on time but result to have a free ride at the detriment of the corporation and others who would wish to have same.

SECURITY IN ANY given term does not mean for one's own protection but also the protection of public facilities such as electricity which is very essential to the national security and the economic growth of any given society. In this vein, citizens have a role to play in maintaining these facilities by paying their bills and not vandalizing these facilities because it's through prompt payment of bills that will enable a corporation such as the LEC to extend its facility to other parts of the city where they are seriously needed. The dream for all to have access to electricity cannot come to fruition when robbery, theft and other vices become the order of the day.

THUS WE ARE challenging all concerned not only those in the Borough of New Kru Town that have been caught but all citizens and residents to guide against robbery, power theft and ensure that facilities that we have and others are awaiting to have be maintained. We should avoid the old Creol adage that "get get, don't want and want want, don't get."

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