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LEC signed contract with an Ivorian-Liberian company

By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

The Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Electricity Corporation Mr. Monie R. Captan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an Ivorian company ABEDO in Maryland County.

ABEDO is a joint venture of an Ivorian and Liberian Company which will now provide electricity in Maryland, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, and some parts of Nimba County.

The signing ceremony was held at Harper City Hall on March 31, 2023, and brought together citizens and local government officials.

Speaking during the program, Maryland County Superintendent George A. Prowd said the signing of the MoU is a hope that LEC activities will improve in the covered counties with respect to the availability of meters, expansions, stability, and accuracy under the company.

He said Maryland has had a grid of electricity for more than a decade now, but the system has been characterized by inaccuracies, an unfair billing system, and unavailability of electric power in most parts of the county.

However, he welcomed the company and thanked the Government of Liberia for such an undertaking that is intended to solve the blackout issues in the Southeast.

The signing of the MoU came months after time tribal leaders from Yokudee Pedebo in Harper District gave local government officials an ultimatum to provide a new transmitter.

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The residents erected roadblocks and gave the ultimatum after several promises made by the caretaker of the Liberian Electricity Corporation in the county had failed.

According to the residents, it has been nearly a year since they were promised by LEC Caretaker Manager Mr. Wallace Dennis that the company was proving the county with transmitters.

The residents and traditional leaders headed by Eric Dickson set traditional roadblocks on Wednesday, October 4, 2022, putting traditional charms and talismans on transmission poles – and dared “anyone calling themselves man” to climb the poles.

The traditional block lasted for four days, causing residents of other towns and cities to sleep in darkness. The charms and talismans were removed days later following several appeals but the government was given a two-week ultimatum to make good on its promises.

The town of Yokudee and other small nearby villages in the Pedeboe Border area hosts the transmission lines from Ivory Coast which crossed into Liberia over the Cavalla River. But have not had electricity for more than seven years since their 50KvA transformer was allegedly removed to replace a damaged one in central Harper during the regime of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Several promises, including one from current incumbent ruling CDC’s Senator James Biney, during his 2020 midterm campaign, came to failure, according to reports. Pedeboe town is an area in Maryland County that borders Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, this paper has gathered that several issues continue to confront the smooth implementation and subsequent free flow of electricity from the West Africa Power Pool, these include poorly planted poles, skipped communities, lack of meters for customers amidst the absence of a power substation on the Liberian side of the border.-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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