Licensing LEC: A Milestone Event for The Energy Sector of Liberia

Ms. Stefania Marrone, Acting Head of Cooperation Representing the European Union in Liberia has described the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (LERC), first licensing ceremony and certification of private operator producing, transmitting and distributing energy as “a milestone event for the private operators in the energy sector of Liberia”.

Ms. Marrone said there are benefits of electricity reaching all parts of a society, together with the important economic growth that accompanies it especially the “benefits that this represents in promoting social and human development for women, who have access to a better quality of life, for children, who can benefit from electricity to complete their education and to all, for the increase in security that electricity brings along”.

She said with 52 Million Euros, the European Union has financed the Monrovia Consolidation of Electricity, to support the Government of Liberia in its effort to provide sustainable and stable electricity to all citizens.

Of that amount, she continued, a contract secured a “2.8 Million Euros for a 3-year Long Technical Assistance for Capacity Building and Institutional Support to the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) and to the Ministry of Mines and Energy”.

The purpose of this project is to contribute to better management and the liberalization of the electricity sector, and I am pleased to see that it is on a fast track to achieve full and efficient operations, she told the gathering at the ceremony.

LERC’s Chairman Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo appealed to the Government of Liberia and development partners for their continued support to the LERC in order to achieve the objectives as outlined in the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia.

It will be difficult to function independently without sustainable funding and “funding challenges could create difficulty in retaining trained, qualified, experienced, and reliable staff.  Investments in LERC are unlikely to achieve the intended objectives of transforming the electricity sector without continued stakeholders’ participation and involvement”, he said. 

Dr. Sekajipo expressed thanks to Millennium Challenge Corporation, Millennium Challenge Account Liberia, European Union Delegation to Liberia Long-Term Technical Assistance (LTTA) through the National Authorizing Office and EU LTTA technical team for their continued guidance and support to the work of the Commission.

Presenting the licenses and certificates to authorities of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) said what the Commission and consumers require of LEC is adequacy in electricity generation; grid resilience; distribution equipment reliability and enhanced customer service, which are prerequisites for instilling investor and consumer confidence in the electricity supply industry.

“It is the Commission’s expectation that LEC will transit quickly towards achieving these goals within the established targets and benchmarks”, he said.

The ceremony was graced by Hon. Gesler Murray, Minister for Mines and Energy, Hon. J. Aloysius Tarlue, Jr. Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and former LERC Chairman, Hon. Vicent Willie, Chairman of House Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources & Environment; the National Authorizing office (NAO), the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Millennium Challenge Account Liberia.