The Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Mr. John Ashley has disclosed plans to embark on a rigorous campaign to combat power theft, which is causing the corporation huge financial losses. Electricity Theft accounts for 49% of commercial losses sustained by the LEC.
CEO Ashley disclosed that there are several commercial customers that are indebted to the LEC in the amount of over US $ 5million. He made the disclosure when in he addressed a news conference at the corporation’s Waterside office.
Electricity theft, he added, is causing the LEC very serious financial losses and will require concerted efforts to combat this menace.
Commercial losses occur as the result of theft, non-payment of bills, bypassing of meters and illegal connections of home and businesses.
According to Mr. Ashley, the campaign will target unscrupulous individuals that are stealing electricity; dismantle their illegal networks; and also reprimand the small number of LEC employees that are involved. He said the LEC will aggressively prosecute those caught in the act.
“Or commercial losses are extremely high. For every $100 worth of kilowatt hours of electricity we generate, we only get paid for 50 percent, this is unfortunate. This is a serious loss to our revenue,” he said.
The LEC, he disclosed is currently engaging relevant stakeholders, including the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police and the Ministry of Justice for their support in prosecuting culprits.
As for commercial users indebted to the corporation in the amount of over US$5 million, CEO Ashley said that efforts are being made to have them to settle their arrears. He warned that failure on their part to settle their arrears, they will be disconnected and the names of their respective institutions publish in the newspapers.
“Those large commercial customers who will refuse to settle their arrears will be disconnected and names publish in the newspapers,” Mr. Ashley said.
Meanwhile, the LEC will shortly embark on a massive connection campaign targeting over 2000 backlog customers who will be connected through a flat rate payment plan.
CEO Ashley noted that when the corporation’s revenue increases over the next few months, meters would be procured and customers on the flat rate plan would be transferred to the regular prepaid metering system.