Minister recommend privatization of Energy provider

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MONROVIA-Mines and Energy Minister, Gesler E. Murray, is recommending privatization of the Country’s distribution of energy power in order to make the service more viable to the Liberian people and other beneficiaries. In an official statement released at Information Ministry’s weekly regular press conference held in Monrovia on the weekend of October 21, 2021, Minister Murray emphasized that privatization of the electricity network is an option worth exploring.

According to a release issued over the weekend, The MME Boss further intimated that  considering that electricity distribution is one of the most challenging aspects in making a power utility commercially viable, “it is our [MME] conviction that this will help to alleviate the insolvency of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).

Minister Murray said, due to lack of having the proper power distribution mechanisms in place, the LEC is experiencing a “negative cash flow.”

In reliance on the National Energy policy of 2009, the Mines and Energy Minister said, it is worthy to recommend the unbounding of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, which, he says, will serve the ‘greater good’ of the Liberian people. Further expounding on this position of his Ministry, Minister Murray said, considering the near future growth in the energy sector, it is appropriate [now] to have a state-owned Enterprise (SOE) to manage the power generation and transmission system, to be named and styled: “Liberia Electricity Generation and Transmission Authority” (LEGTA). According to Minister Murray, the distribution sector of Liberia’s power/electricity sector should be subject to privatization under the policy and regulatory framework of the Government of Liberia, by and through the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC).

“I am sure, this will certainly bridge the daunting challenges faced by our state electricity utility; LEC.” Minister Gesler E. Murray is quoted as saying.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy, through its Minister [Gesler E. Murray] has also proffered a serious recommendation to State actors aimed at curbing illegal acts of power theft across Liberia. In his official address to at Information Ministry’s weekend press stakeout, Mines and Energy Minister Murray told the Press that there’s a need no other time than now, for Liberia to establish a fast track court that will timely prosecute alleged power theft criminals and perpetrators.

The Honorable Minister further intoned that, when this is achieved, a national Task Force which will be set up,  will comprise and incorporate the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Justice, Finance & Development Planning, Ministry of State, Liberia National Police, and the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC). Also key in Minister Murray’s official statement to the Nation last weekend was that there’s a need for decentralization of the LEC customer response services within communities to timely respond to the technical and commercial needs of customers on the national grid.

European Union Head of delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, and his colleagues from France, Northern Ireland, and Germany, all agreed with the Mines and Energy Minister’s assertions at the MICAT Press Briefing that tougher actions are needed to curb power theft in Liberia, and, as well, the need to embrace proposed reforms to decentralize power generation and distribution through state-approved privatization.

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