The Chief Clerk of the House, Mildred N. Sayon, has written the management team of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) by a directive of the plenary to comply with an audit the General Auditing Commission (GAC) was conducting, especially on the contractual management tenure of the Manitoba Hydro International, Ltd (MHI).
On the Tuesday, March 21 session, members of the House of Representatives agreed that the LEC be mandated to restart the audit, which was earlier commissioned on December 16, 2016, but was placed on hold by the current management team prior to the departure of the MHI management team.
A motion by Bong County District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah was unanimously accepted owing to a communication from GAC complaining about the audit being put on hold.
It may be recalled that on March 16, the House of Representatives wrote the GAC to audit the LEC-Manitoba Hydro International Management, a Canadian firm, because of a complaint from Montserrado County District #13 Representative Saah Joseph accusing the entity of misusing US$42 million, while the country’s electricity infrastructure is still in a shabby state.
Rep. Joseph said the five-year contract with the Canadian firm did not satisfy the aims and objectives of the contract to expand electricity production and the national power grid, adding that they performed dismally.
In a communication to House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, Rep. Joseph argued that based on the appalling performance by the MHI management, he wants the Legislature to abort the signing of any new contractual agreement with the firm to manage the LEC.
“The dismal performance of MHI under the then contractual agreement are clearly visible for all to see as evidenced by the incessant falling of poles with live wires, which poses death traps in residential areas, the prolonged power cuts and the relatively slow rate of connecting households in Monrovia and its environs, are some of the problems left behind by MHI under the multimillion dollar agreement to manage the LEC,” Rep. Joseph wrote.
“Compounded with the problems listed above, MHI depleted the LEC coffers of US$42 million leaving the current interim management team cash-strapped to manage the entity effectively.”
In spite of these bottlenecks, the current management team connected a little over 5,000 households to the national electricity grid in a short period of two months, an action that has boosted the revenue generating capacity of the entity, and vigorously combating the power theft menace.
In his communication, the lawmaker informed his colleagues that the Board of Directors of the LEC is reportedly poised to re-enter a new agreement with the Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) to manage the LEC despite the competence of the current interim management team that has exhibited a high level of professionalism in such a short period since the expiration MHI’s management agreement.