LEC, Stop Giving Stupid Excuses: Do Your Job with Substance

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On Monday, March 25, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) or as some Liberians, who are frustrated with its ‘on and off’ light, would term it “Liberia Expecting Current” posted on its website a weak and stupid excuse for being totally unable to supply constant electricity to all of its paying customers, regularly.

In a March 25 release on its website, LEC gives excuses which we think make no sense to Liberians and other nationals, who are paying their hard-earned money to them but are not getting back the full service they are paying for.

According to LEC, four reasons have prompted them to be inept in their statutory duty.

They listed conditions, which they SHOULD have had total control over and because of lackadaisical attitude, their customers would have to go through the nightmare of expecting to be without electricity for at least six to 12 hours daily as they have now begun doing “load shedding”. This is at the expense of the customers and not LEC’s: what a shame!

LEC blames “massive increase in electricity demand, mainly driven by power theft (1); lack of water at Mt. Coffee due to the Dry Season (2); difficulties LEC has in securing HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) to run its base load generators (3); and the inability to procure LFO (Light Fuel Oil) for its peaking plant, due to its financial constraints (4).”

Do you see the four stupid and lame excuses that the entity has provided for their ineptness? Can you buy all or any of them? These reasons are not just stupid but totally absurd to paying customers!        

Let’s deal with them one at a time.

Massive increase in electricity demand, mainly driven by power theft: Does the LEC really mean this as one of its reasons for load shedding or being unable to adequately meet its quota? On many radio talk shows, newspaper publications, social media posts, etc, Liberians have been complaining about how bad the customer care situation of the electricity entity is. People have spoken of how they go to put in for service, pay their money and it will literary take “forever” before LEC responds to service them. Some have even said LEC never shows up at all even though they had already paid into LEC account. In such situations, how LEC expects those individuals to have electricity in their homes? We don’t in anyway support those ‘bad apples’ for illegally acquiring power into their homes. Their illegal acts have proven to be detrimental to lives and properties.

However, if the power house were responding in time to the needs/demands of its costumers, we think the situation with this rampant power theft would have drastically reduced and the entity would have the needed revenue that are now leaking and going into wrong pockets.    

Lack of water at Mt. Coffee due to the Dry Season: when does the Dry Season in Liberia come? The St. Paul River decreasing in its volume during the dry is not something that just happened this Dry Season or under this present team heading the LEC. This is an annual thing and it has been happening since time immemorial, which the engineers at LEC know fully well. Why are they now complaining? Why haven’t they put in place a viable backup plan so that when the water drops in volume, they are still capable of providing the required energy to produce the same amount of electricity as when the river is full during the Rainy Season? Should anyone listen to your very poor excuse, LEC?

For LEC’s last two excuses: “Difficulties LEC has in securing HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil) to run its base load generators and the inability to procure LFO (Light Fuel Oil) for its peaking plant, due to its financial constraints,” both essentially point to LEC’s inability of obtaining fuel oil to run the stand-by generators it has. We also find this hard to fathom as there are many companies, including Liberian-own, that are regularly importing petroleum products into the country. Why would the LEC wait to go very low on fuel for its customers to feel the pinch when those customers had already paid their dues? Running low on fuel is not automatic; it is gradual. The fuel gauge can be calibrated to know the gallons/drums of gasoline that are being consumed daily. So, computing this accurately, the LEC will know when to have adequate fuel to power its generators in order to service its customers. So, this can’t be any sound excuse.

Meanwhile, LEC, in its excuses, has issued some vital warnings to its customers to always treat the electricity system as live, and that power can be restored at any time.

Customers are also urged to conserve energy turn off appliances and lights, it will save them money. LEC further warns you not to call them when you lose power in a designated area. They are also asking you to keep your fridges and freezers closed in order to preserve the cold.

“Load shedding is expected to continue throughout the Dry Season. However, the situation could change depending on increased water flow or early rains at Mt. Coffee. LEC will endeavor to minimize Load Shedding in particular during the hours of darkness. In the interest of fairness load shedding has been organized on a rolling basis to spread the impact across most customers throughout the network.”

The LEC is load shedding according to the published load shedding schedules, which are available on its website — www.lecliberia.com.

However, this issue that LEC now experiences should have long been a thing of the past given the amount of millions of US Dollars that were pumped into this sector under the regime of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Madam Sirleaf had boasted in 2006 of her “Small light today, big light tomorrow,” when she switched on Liberia’s first new streetlight after the whole country had been plunged in total darkness for nearly 15 years of its civil conflict.

Unfortunately, this “big light” is yet to arrive as much of Monrovia and surroundings are still in darkness, which we think LEC has the capacity to illuminate but are giving flimsy excuses.

LEC get back to work and stop all the lame excuses.

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

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