Monie Captan: LEC problems complicated
By Ethel A Tweh
The Board Chair of the Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC) Mr. Monie Captan has alarmed here that the lack of sufficient logistics to carry on the institution’s operations is one main problem that challenges the company in regards to connecting more people to its powerline.
Appearing before the Plenary of the Liberian Senate Thursday, 3 March 2022, Mr. Captan said when he took over as LEC Board Chair six months ago, there were challenges that he met there, noting that they are complicated.
According to him, there’s no capital injection from the only shareholder of the company which is the Government of Liberia.
“If we have more shareholders, there will be more investments done in the company,” he suggested.
Mr. Captan complained that LEC has a few pickups to carry on its operations. He said the corporation cannot attend to people swiftly because of the lack of logistics.
Additionally, the LEC Board Chair disclosed that the government here was owing to the West African Power Pool US$9.6 million. Out of that amount, he said the company has already paid US$1m and is left with a balance of US$8.6 million.
Mr. Captan reported that the debt came about during former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s administration.
He explained that the former president was on a tour in the southeast and the people ordered the current to come. He said since that time, the current has not gone off.
Mr. Captan noted that it was from that point that the people of Maryland, Grand Gedeh and part of Nimba Counties started owing the West African Power Pool.
Captan said further that there was no management mechanism during former President Sirleaf’s regime.
Captan suggested that Liberia needs to invest more into its own electricity so that whenever there’s a problem with the Ivory Coast, Liberia will have a stand by.
He said Ivory Coast is carrying $7.2 million for two months of current supply. According to Mr. Captan, if the money is too much, Liberia can reduce the amount of current they want because Ivory Coast doesn’t compromise its prices.
Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo, Managing Director of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Cooperation (LERC), said LEC needs to decentralize the customer service and also privatize the investment sector.
Meanwhile, Grand Gedeh County Senator Zoe Pennue said the government here does not owe Ivory Coast US$9.6 million.
He argued that the people of Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties have been paying their current bills.
He argued that there were two accounts for the bills, one in LD and the other in USD.
But addressing the Grand Gedeh and Maryland current bills, the CEO of LEC said that the money that the two counties paid is so small that it can’t cover the operational cost.
For his part, Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Koung said the lack of current is affecting the economy.
He said the LEC Board chair is not to be blamed for the problem in the company, but the Nimba Senator argued that the Board Chair has served on the board for years before becoming chairman.
River Gee County Senator Jonathan Boycharles Sogbie said his county has not benefited from the county’s electricity as though it is not a county in the country.
“How do you want the Senators of River Gee to contribute to the current discussion or have an impact [on] any money that should be given to the company to pay the debt when my county and other counties from the southeast haven’t benefited from the LEC. Not even a bulb we have in our county,” he said.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/senate-cites-lec-and-its-regulatory-body/