The Board of Commissioners (BoC) and staff of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) have bid farewell to the European Union (EU) Long Term Technical Assistance (LTTA) team assigned to support the Department of Energy (DoE) at the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and the Commission.
The three-year assistance was funded by the EU and was intended for capacity building and institutional support to the two institutions, respectively. Members of the EU-LTTA team included Messrs. Michael Opam, Francis Gbeddy, and Emmanuel Sekor.
Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo, Chairman of the BoC speaking at honouring program thanked the EU and paid tribute to the EU-LTTA team and attributed the level of success at the “Commission to the coaching, guidance and teaching provided to LERC’s technical staff management and BoC in the development of key regulatory instruments and tariff development”.
Dr. Sekajipo outlined several milestones, accomplishments and recognition under their tutelage that include: the development of key regulatory instruments for the electricity supply industry of Liberia, which led to the licensing of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Jungle Energy Power (JEP) and the issuance of permit to the Totota Electric Cooperative (TEC) as well as facilitating the liberalization and efficient operation of the electricity sector.
The Deputy Minister for Energy at the MME Mr. George Gontor also speaking at the occasion thanked the EU for providing technical support to the MME and LERC. MME is prepared and ready to lead the energy sector in Liberia.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Monie Captan lauded the Commission for taking ownership of the various regulations during the mentoring and capacity building provided by the EU-LTTA.
Mr. Captan said the Commission is “fortunate to have an experienced and committed leadership and staff which have immensely contributed to its rapid growth in the energy sector in the region and Africa ”.
It is important that regulators stay true to their core functions and too often regulators become tax collectors and that is when you lose focus and become a revenue generating Commission. “I pray that LERC does not fall into that trap”, he noted.
At LEC, Mr. Captan pinpointed, under his leadership of five months at the Corporation has achieved so much that 10 years of expatriates’ leaderships could not achieve. He explained the Corporation revenue is now experiencing rapid growth.
In separate remarks, Messrs. Opam, Gbeddy, and Sekor thanked the National Authorizing Office at the Ministry of Finance and Development, Commission and DoE at the MME for the support and cooperation during their stay in Liberia. The team promised to always provide support to the Commission whenever they are called upon.
They charged members of the Commission to stay and remain focused on their regulatory duties. The issuing of regulations is not regulating but ensuring that these regulations are adhered to.
The ceremony was graced by representatives from the NAO, MME, LEC, Commissioners and the management and staff of the Commission.