Liberia Is Open for Critical Investment in the Electricity Sector

As the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) begins to take hold and manage the electricity sector, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo has again trumpeted that Liberia is open for the critical investment required to cover the infrastructure deficit of the electricity sector.

Dr. Sekajipo speaking on Friday 13th August in Ganta City, Nimba County at the licensing ceremony of Jungle Energy Power (JEP) averred that the expectations of Liberians to access reliable and affordable electricity is high and the Commission is prepared to achieve this demand.

He said the Commission was issuing its first Large Micro Utility Distribution License to JEP in accordance with the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia (ELL). The Large Micro Utility Distribution License issued Jungle Energy Power is valid for five-years.

The Large Micro Utility Distribution License now allows JEP to distribute electricity without discrimination to customers and residents within the Nimba Distribution Area and in accordance with the license terms and conditions.

 “The Commission has developed the Tariff Regulations and the Technical Codes which will further define the rules for ensuring smooth operation and the sustainability of the electricity sector”, Dr. Sekajipo told the audience at the licensing ceremony.

“What the Commission and consumers require of JEP is – distribution equipment reliability that will enhance customer service and confidence in the electricity supply industry” he averred.

The LERC’s Chairman Dr. Sekajipo said the Commission’s expectation is that JEP will commit to achieving these goals within the established targets and benchmarks as outlined in the terms and conditions of the License.

Responding, JEP’s CEO Floyd Tomah challenged the Commission to remain steadfast and diligent in the issuance of licenses as experienced during JEP’s process. “We hope the Commission will not end up being another Liberian institution to accommodate other institutions”, he said.

The Liberia businessman explained that JEP’s engagement within the electricity sector was a pilot project on how a private entity can operate a public entity and described it as being a success story and have learnt several lessons over the years.

Mr. Tomah said JEP inherited the distribution system from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) with 700 postpaid customers and 29 transformers but now has over 7000 customers with smart meters and 44 new transformers installed across its operational areas.

Currently, JEP is expanding to other larger cities and towns in Nimba County, the JEP CEO revealed to LERC and guests at the licensing ceremony.

He said JEP is providing services to nearly all public and private institutions operating within the county including major concessions.

“JEP is ready and willing to work with the donor community to provide affordable electricity to underprivileged communities, towns and villages in Nimba County as done in other areas across the country”, Mr. Tomah said.

Mr. Tomah assured the Commission that JEP will follow the terms and conditions of the license and is prepared to even go beyond what is required to ensure that affordable electricity is provided to the people of Nimba County.

The ceremony was graced by LERC’s Commissioners, Nimba County officials, stakeholders, a representative from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) among others.