Liberia’s Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E. Murray speaking at the MICAT regularly press briefing recently Liberia’s Mines and Energy Minister Gesler E. Murray speaking at the MICAT regularly press briefing recently

Liberia: Mines and Energy Minister Wants Privatization of Power Supply

The Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Gesler E. Murray, has recommended the privatization of the country's distribution of energy power in order to make the service more viable to the Liberian people and other beneficiaries.

In an official statement released recently at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism(MICAT) regular press briefing in Monrovia, Minister Murray emphasized that privatization of electricity network is an option worth exploring.

The MME boss said considering that electricity distribution is one of the most challenging aspects in making a power utility commercially viable, “it is the MME’s conviction that this will help to alleviate the insolvency of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).”

He pointed out that due to lack of having the proper power distribution mechanisms in place, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) is experiencing a “negative cash flow.”

In reliance on the National Energy policy of 2009, he said it is worthy to recommend to LEC for privatization of power, which according to him, will serve the ‘greater good’ of the Liberian people.

Minister Murray stated that considering the near future growth in the energy sector, it is appropriate [now] to have a state-owned Enterprise (SOE) to manage the power generation and transmission system, to be named and styled: “Liberia Electricity Generation and Transmission Authority” (LEGTA).

According to Minister Murray, the distribution sector of Liberia’s power/electricity sector should be subject to privatization under the policy and regulatory framework of the Government of Liberia, by and through the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC).

“I am sure, this will certainly bridge the daunting challenges faced by our state electricity utility, LEC,” Minister Murray is quoted as saying.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy, through its Minister [Gesler E. Murray], has also proffered a serious recommendation to State actors aimed at curbing illegal acts of power theft across Liberia.

Minister Murrary mentioned that there’s a need no other time than now, for Liberia to establish a fast track court that will timely prosecute alleged power theft criminals and perpetrators.

He added that, when this is achieved, a national Taskforce, which will be set up, will comprise and incorporate the Ministries of Mines and Energy, Justice, Finance & Development Planning, State, Liberia National Police(LNP), and the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).

Also key in Minister Murray’s official statement to the nation was that there’s a need for decentralization of the LEC customer response services within communities to timely respond to the technical and commercial needs of customers on the national grid.

Meanwhile, the European Union Head of delegation to Liberia, Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, and his colleagues from France, Northern Ireland, and Germany, all agreed with the Mines and Energy Minister’s assertions at the MICAT press briefing that tougher actions are needed to curb power theft in Liberia, and as well, the need to embrace proposed reforms to decentralize power generation and distribution through state-approved privatization.



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