Citizens of Nimba County have unanimously agreed to a proposed policy aimed at privatizing Liberia’s energy sector.
The citizens reached the decision during a recent stakeholders’ forum held in Saclepea, Nimba County, when they voted for a policy that would lead to the privatization of Liberia’s energy sector.
The forum brought together hundreds of participants, including Liberia Electricity Corporation’s (LEC) transmission and distribution consultant, Thomas Goankeh.
In a resolution released at the end of the forum, the delegates said that privatizing the region’s energy sector would lead to continuous power transmission and lower transmission cost compared to the present status where the sector is being solely managed by the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
The citizens called on the county leadership, headed by Superintendent Fong Zuagele, to give Liberians first priority should their suggested policy change lead to a bidding process.
For her part, the head of the Concerned Women’s Organization of Nimba, Madam Musu Kardamie, called on local authorities to ensure the recruitment, training, and employment of young Nimbaians in the event that the suggested change in the status quo in Nimba County’s energy sector comes to fruition.
Madam Kardamie said if the private sector works with locals, it will not only boost the energy sector, but help reduce the county’s high unemployment rate, which, she observed, is a serious challenge for the youth and county authorities.
It may be recalled that LEC customers in Nimba County recently complained about “irregular power supply.”
Nimba County is currently receiving electricity under an agreement between the governments of Liberia and Ivory Coast through the WAPP to supply electricity to Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Maryland and River Gee counties.
A local businessman said that the WAPP agreement has helped them so much that they are now doing away with their dependency on the “‘mighty’ Tiger generators.”
The West African Power Pool
WAPP is a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic bloc including Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and The Gambia. The other countries are Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
As an international organization of public interest, the WAPP is to ensure regional power system integration and realization of a regional electricity market.
WAPP is made up of public and private generation, transmission and distribution companies involved in the operation of electricity in West Africa. It has to date 26 member companies.