The National Power Training Center of Nigeria (NAPTIN), through the Capacity Building Program of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), has completed the training and certification of 78 employees of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).
The certification ceremony, which was the climax of the capacity building program, was held on Wednesday, June 19 at the Corina Hotel in Sinkor. The training, which was held in Nigeria from December 2018 to March 2019 was funded by the African Development Bank (ADB).
The training was part of an initiative of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to improve operational performances of individual WAPP member countries.
Speaking during the certification ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of the LEC), Pascal Buckley, said the training and certification ceremony was a sign of the LEC and Liberia moving forward in ensuring the rapid transformation in the country’s energy sector.
The current LEC Management, he noted, is working and lobbying with International Donors to secure more training opportunities for technicians and engineers for the Corporation as a way of achieving a viable electricity sector.
He said management will remain fully engaged with international development institutions for robust and strategic training and development programs that will further improve and sharpen the technical skills of engineers and technicians to enable the LEC Management achieve its primary objectives.
“We can only achieve our primary objectives of providing affordable and reliable electricity throughout Liberia, when the rights and welfare of technicians and engineers are prioritized and protected through essential training opportunities,” Mr. Buckley said.
ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia, Ambassador Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo, said electricity is the major driver of economic development and highlighted the significant role ECOWAS plays in reawakening and rebooting Liberia’s energy sector.
Amb. Ajisomo said no nation can realize actual development in the absence of electricity. “Electricity is life, and life is electricity. The provision of electricity plays a pivotal role in national development,” he insisted.
He recalled that when he arrived in Liberia in November 2013, access to electricity from the national electricity grid was about 2 to 3 %, adding that ever since, immense progress has been made by government, development partners and the ECOWAS’s Community.
He observed that the usage of generators by households and business has declined immensely due to increased connection to the national electricity grid, thereby easing the high cost of living.
The West African Power Pool (WAPP), he said, is a specialized agency of ECOWAS that was established by ECOWAS states to form a national hub in the region and promote energy efficiency.
Amb. Ajisomo assured the 78 trainees of LEC’s continuous commitment to working closely with the WAPP and lobbying with the AfDB to avail more training opportunities for employees of the LEC.
He urged the trainees to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired to ensure effective delivery of services at the LEC.
Amb. Ajisomo commended the management of the LEC for the level of progress thus far in the midst of difficult circumstances being experienced by the corporation, especially power theft, which is causing the corporation to lose millions of United Sates Dollars.