ELECTRICITY PLAYS AN important role in every thriving nation and the ones on its road to recovery.
FOR THE PRIVATE sector, it is considered the key to an economic boom for without it, industries cannot be built and powered to keep the wheels of the economy turning.
A COUNTRY LIKE LIBERIA THEN coming out of a brutal civil was that killed over 250,000, being engulfed in pitch black darkness highlighted the need to restore electricity and water which were, perhaps, the two most important things on the agenda of the newly minted Sirleaf government.
AND RIGHTLY SO PRESIDENT Sirleaf started with Small Lights Today, Big Lights Tomorrow. Geo politics got in its way when China offered to build a new hydro at no cost but the offer was spurned by the government.
THE DIE WAS CAST AND the refurbishment of the Mount Coffee was given to the west.
AND SO WHILE THE hydro was being brought to life, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), thanks to help from donors, had been supplying electricity to part of Monrovia and adjoining areas thereof.
SOMETIMES IT WAS marred by frequent power outages but it was the glimmer of hope that come hell and high water, big lights would most definitely be turned on.
FOR MOST COMMUNITIES, these power outages were more often the cause of an overloaded transformer which had blown off, thanks to power theft because the transformer cannot send out more that its capacity.
THIS SOON BECAME rampant across the city and parts adjacent as people sought to become connected illegally on the lines of the Liberia Electricity Corporation.
MANY DARING YOUTH EXPERIENCED the fate of karma in their dashing attempt to do what is wrong and not accepted at all. Some saw their homes engulfed in fire due to poor connection done illegally.
FOR ALL ITS INTENT AND purpose, they were fleecing the government of the much need revenue it needed to drive the country forward.
AND SO THE LEC was losing. Bigly, too!
THEY RESORTED to the media to cry that they were bleeding from power theft.
RAIDS BEGAN and many have been placed behind bars.
FOR SOME TIME now the Liberia Electricity Corporation has been receiving applause from Liberians and foreign residents alike over its recent crackdown on power theft.
THE LEC HAD COMPLAINED numerously that they have been missing out in millions of dollars due to power theft. And so, emboldened by the president and the Legislature, they began a sweeping arrest on those they suspect to be linked to power theft.
BUT THE LEC ITSELF has been one of the major reasons of why there continues to be pervasive power theft. A time for introspection from LEC is needed here.
IT IS A FACT THAT MOST of those who are illegally connected to LEC or have by-passed the meter did so one point in time with the acquiescence of an LEC staff.
FOR SOME PEOPLE, THEY have gone true the usual bureaucratic procedure to get the unresponsive team to be connected and nothing has come through.
THE LEC GOES CONDUCT its affairs with benign neglect. There has been an acute power outage around the Vamoma House because a vehicle hit one of the light poles and numerous calls have been made to the LEC and yet, till date, no team has shown up to remedy the situation, forgetting that when legal customers are not on, it’s the LEC who stands to lose the most.
OR MAYBE PERHAPS THEY aren’t all that much losing as there has been revelation LEC is wallowing in unspecified debts.