The Liberian Senate during its Thursday session passed “A Bill for an Act to amend the Penal law Chapter 15, by adding thereto a new Section 15.88 to provide for “Power Theft.”
Recently, President George Weah and his Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and Senators and Representatives at a two-day retreat held in Margibi County, faded down discussions with a consensus by the lawmakers to “judiciously” act upon pending Bills at the Capitol, including those dating back to the previous government.
Following a report from the Joint Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment and Judiciary, Human Rights, Claims & Petitions, members of the Liberian Senate unanimously voted to pass the Bill.
The Bill, when signed into law by President Weah and published into handbills, will seek to criminalize power theft, reduce the stealing of power and thereby promote economic development.
It can also be recalled that on May 10, the Managing Director of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Pascal Buckley, said the growing wave of power theft may cause Liberia to lose up to US$6.2 million per month and about US$72 million per year by 2020, if power theft remains unchecked.
Speaking at a public hearing at the Capitol Building, Buckley disclosed that the Government of Liberia is losing US$2.8 million annually as the result of the act, a situation which, he noted, is posing serious threat to the revenue generation of the entity.
Other Bills passed by the Liberian Senate during Thursday’s session include “The World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement”;and the “United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1998”
Also passed were the “Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (as amended by the 1972 Protocol amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961”; “Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971” and the “International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (as amended, known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC).”
The “ECOWAS Customs Code”; “Economic Partnership Agreement between the West African States, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union and the European Union and its Member States,” were also acted upon by the Liberian Senate.
Others are the “Minimum Age Convention, 138” and “Customs Code Amendment.”
All of these bills were submitted by the President George Manneh Weah for legislative action and have since been in committee rooms.