Warning Out For Power Raiders
-Pres. Weah Expresses Concern
The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), is reportedly losing millions of dollars annually to power theft hampering the capacity of the LEC to expand and ensure constant supply of the service.
According to statistics, about 10 percent power theft will cost the LEC US$8 million because of the increase in illegal connections. This, according, the LEC would cause corporation to lose about US$35 million per annual.
This situation has drawn the attention of President George Manneh Weah, who delivering his State-of-the- Nation address on Monday, January 28, called on Liberians and foreign residents to quit the behavior.According to the Liberian leader, it is preventing LEC from extending its services across the country.
“Power theft is illegal and it sabotages the economy of our country,” he said.
Pres. Weah also pointed out that the new loss is affecting LEC from offering connections to many businesses that could offer much needed employment opportunities to many Liberians.
As LEC increases its connection and supply, the Liberian leader noted that the demand for electricity has also gone up, adding that “insufficiency of power has led to several communities physically demanding service, which sometimes results into demonstrations in some communities.”
The Liberian leader noted that the technicians at LEC were able to mitigate some of the problems by introducing new transformers, and replacing damaged transformers, but the issue of theft still remains a major problem in the distribution of power.
Pres. Weah indicated that there were more than 8,000 new household connections by the LEC, with 324 new commercial connections and 80 users added.
However, he noted that revenue collected accounts for about 40 percent of generated load, while power theft accounts for 49 percent, with about 12 percent in technical loss.
He emphasized that the question of power theft remains “a great concern” to the LEC, and encouraged management and citizens who are also crying for connection across the country to work together to find ways of resolving the situation, adding that if nothing is done to eradicate this problem, the country stands to benefit nothing from the power that is being offered to citizens nationwide.
“There has not being a change in tariff and that may not change until the problem of power theft is addressed through policy reform,” Pres. Weah warned.
Meanwhile, The Liberian leader has said, power theft also has the ability to put Liberia backward, adding that whenever this happens, the LEC cannot generate the money it needs to expand and continue regular power supply.