The Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC), Joseph T. Mayah, has said that the corporation is losing an estimated US$1.4 million monthly due to electricity theft in the country.
Mr. Mayah made the disclosure last Friday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing.
According to him, electricity theft has imposed a huge financial loss on the corporation, making it difficult to pay workers, buy fuel to run the generators and maintain the equipment.
Mr. Mayah said LEC has about 30,000 customers in four zones currently, with 8,000 of them pre-paid customers.
He used the occasion to warn Liberians to desist from electricity theft and pay for services provided by the corporation, adding: “You will not feel good if you are paying while others are in the habit of stealing the current.”
He then appealed to citizens to report anyone found ‘stealing’ electricity from nearby communities in Monrovia.
For his part, consultant for transmission at the LEC, Thomas Gonkerwon cautioned subscribers to the LEC power distribution network not to purchase any installation materials from LEC staff because the materials are not for sale.
Mr. Gonkerwon said installation materials such as wires, circuit breakers and meters should not be sold to customers as the LEC is working to improve power distribution and the materials are needed for that purpose.
He noted that currently the LEC’s primary goal is to provide many Liberians the opportunity to get connected to the power grid to improve their daily lives and economic activities.
He also disclosed that LEC is working on plans to connect more communities, while communities in the St. Paul Bridge area, beyond Baptist Seminary and along the Gardnersville road will not be connected soon due to road construction work and lack of distribution channels.
He urged customers to pay their electricity bills, noting that it is a key to enhancing the operations of the LEC.
“LEC requires immense capital and revenue generation to enable the corporation to operate each of its power units, and as such customers must be willing to pay their electricity bills regularly,” he cautioned.
LEC is a public utility created in 1973 by the Government of Liberia.
The entity was developed through an act of Legislature with a mandate to produce and supply economic and reliable electric power to the entire nation, while at the same time maintaining the corporation’s financial viability.