United States Ambassador to Liberia Michael A. McCarthy, along with the Minister of Mines and Energy Gesler Murray, on Thursday, April 8, 2021, cut ribbon to a newly refurbished state-of-the-art customer service center at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) Waterside compound.
The Project was made possible through a support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact under its Millennium Challenge Account- Liberia component and is worth over US$1 million.
The new customer service center has a seating capacity for over 100 customers compared to 25 in the past, spacious waiting areas, offices for LEC staff, a call center, sanitary facilities more accessible to women and disabled people and equipped IT infrastructure with trained staff to deliver effective customer service
Speaking at the dedication ceremony, LEC's CEO Paschal Buckley said the previous customer service center was plagued with many deficiencies including inadequate seating capacity for walk-in customers, poor sanitation facilities, inadequate ventilation and the lack of sufficient technologies to meet customers' needs.
He said the revamping of the customer service center included a 500,000 construction project that contained the purchase of three vehicles and new furniture as well as a separate 576,000 used to equip the new facility with IT infrastructure and providing training for customer service agents.
Also speaking, Ambassador McCarthy thanked the CEO of MCA-L Monie Captan for his leadership and providing overview of the Millennium Challenge Corporation which led to the construction of the new LEC customer service center.
He said the dedication of the building underscores the strong partnership between Liberia and the United States broader investment in the country's electricity sector through the MCC, USAID and Power Africa.
"The United States shares Liberia's hopes and joins its efforts to secure a more prosperous tomorrow for the people of Liberia", Ambassador McCarthy said.
He said the American government and people will continue to support access to reliable and affordable electricity, but larger responsibility will rest on the Government of Liberia and each citizen to be good stewards of Liberia's energy resources and customers of LEC.
"On the point of responsibility, let me say that it will be difficult for the LEC to sustain the electricity network and expand access as long as it is losing huge amount or revenue because of illegal connections and customers who cheat", the US Ambassador noted.
McCarthy furthered that the biggest offenders must be prosecuted and convicted under Liberia Theft of Electricity Act, while at the same time more equipment starts rolling-out to increase legal access to electricity.
He also congratulated the LEC, board and management, as well as the entire LEC staff and wished them much success in increasing access to reliable and affordable electricity for the people of Liberia.
For his part, Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management Augustus J. Flomo said it's one thing to give and another to receive, but the receiver has the greater responsibility to ensure that the gift received is utilized to its fullest potential.
He said the burden is now on the government to make sure that the new structure is maintained and the purpose for which the building was constructed is achieved.
He thanked the Government and people of America for their continuous support to the country's energy sector further demonstrated by the dedication of the new customer service center of the LEC.