MONROVIA-The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has finally admitted that the delay in providing meters to customers is the primary reason for the increasing incidents of power theft in the country.

Mr. Monie Captan, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of LEC, made this statement during a press conference held in Monrovia over the weekend.

Ordinary Liberians and local business owners have consistently complained about LEC’s failure to fulfill its responsibilities of providing affordable, stable, and reliable electricity to their homes and businesses. These citizens, including those who have been arrested for power theft, attribute their actions to the corporation’s inability to supply them with meters and timely connections.

Mr. Captan revealed that the corporation’s analysis has confirmed the direct correlation between the delay in meter provision and the rise in power theft. He explained that all meters were previously provided by donor partners before his tenure, but the supply was insufficient to meet the needs of customers across the operational areas of the entity.

In response to combat power theft, Mr. Captan’s administration has ordered 6,000 meters to address the shortage faced by customers. The corporation has also imported several containers of meters to connect multiple households upon their arrival in the country.

Mr. Captan emphasized the importance of making meters readily available to customers, stating, “I want meters to be as accessible as sand, not gold dust. When people have easy access to meters, power theft decreases. We are working on strategies to solve this problem.”

He highlighted that the commercial viability of LEC is directly impacted by how effectively power theft and commercial losses are managed. To this end, the corporation has witnessed a significant reduction in power theft, from 50% to 30%, through the operations of a power-theft task force.

Since the task force’s establishment, LEC has successfully connected over 17,000 households and replaced numerous transformers in communities that have long been without electricity. Mr. Captan acknowledged the substantial expense involved in replacing transformers but emphasized their necessity for providing electricity to individual households.

Mr. Captan acknowledged the challenges faced by LEC, particularly the setback caused by the civil wars in Liberia, which resulted in the destruction of previously invested infrastructure. However, he expressed optimism about the progress made by the current administration in bringing the corporation back from a state of hopelessness.

he LEC management team, composed of Liberians, has implemented plans and strategies to address the constraints faced during the dry season. Mr. Captan affirmed that LEC is growing on a daily basis and disclosed plans to construct a new 150-megawatt hydro plant in Bong Mines to support the existing Mount Coffee Hydro Plant.

He also revealed that LEC has expanded the supply of electricity to various areas, including Kakata, Weala, Bo Water Side, Clay, and will extend services to the Robert International Airport and other corridors along the route.

Mr. Captan emphasized that LEC’s future challenges are being met by preparing the corporation to drive economic growth and development in Liberia. He stated that LEC currently supplies electricity to households and businesses in Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi, Montserrado, Bong, parts of Nimba, Grand Gedeh, and River Gee on a franchise basis, allowing other companies to outsource electricity.

While donor partners typically drive the distribution and connection of communities, LEC is gradually targeting and supplying “gap communities” independently. Mr. Captan assured the public that the provision of meters to households and businesses will remain a priority in combating illegal connections and improving revenue generation for the corporation.

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