LEC Still Loses Fuel
The specter of graft and corruption in Liberia is like a cancer that never succumbs to remedy. For instance, when it was announced last week that members of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) were sent home to play ludo with their families permanently, and also that top management personnel were given a suspension sentence, many had hoped that the actions would cower kleptocrafts into submission. But as J. Lyndon Ponnie reports, it seems the unexpected is emerging; it seems the somewhat punitive action unleashed at the LEC has turned into a gallon of gasoline dumped into combustion, as the Corporation still continues to lose huge amounts of fuel.
In the wake of the suspension of two senior officials of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) for alleged fuel oil disappearance at the Corporation, this paper has received unimpeachable information that 1,451 gallons of fuel intended for the Corporation’s stations at Congo Town and Paynesville have also disappeared.
According to our investigation, the fuel got missing when the International Resources Group (IRG), which took charge of fuel delivery after the suspension of the LEC officials, delivered fuel to the Congo Town and Paynesville plants.
It can be recalled that Joseph Giddings and Alfred Jallah, two deputy managing directors at the LEC, were suspended last week in connection with missing fuel.
Giddings and Jallah are yet to comment on their suspension, but investigation by this paper over the weekend shows that the issue of fuel oil shortage has been a longstanding issue at the LEC.
According to our probe, caretakers of the tanks that feed LEC’s generators in Kru Town, Paynesville and Congo Town have since February of this year complained of the mal-functioning of the meters installed to the tanks.
Document in possession of this paper revealed that on February 4, 2008, the General Manger of Operations complained about the poor calibration of the storage tanks and reported to Acting Managing Director Joseph Mayah that a substantial amount of fuel, 14,895 gallons could not be accounted for at the time.
The contract for the manufacturing of the tanks was awarded to Pump and Tank Maintenance Company, a Liberian entity. According to investigation, Acting Managing Director Mayah in his capacity as Deputy Managing Director for Technical Services, brought in the manufacturers, and that after just few days, the tanks’ meters developed technical problem and started to give wrong readings.
Information maintained that even though IRG and Mayah were aware of the mal-functioning of the tanks’ meters, they did not act until the very IRG made a former complaint to the steering committee of the LEC, stating fuel shortage.
However, our investigation indicates that last week, when the two officials were suspended, IRG took charge of lifting fuel for use by the LEC only to realize a shortage of over one thousand gallons in less than a week.
Jallah and Giddings were suspended by Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Eugene Shannon, who is the chair of the committee.
The two LEC officials are Presidential appointees as Shannon who effected the
Other sources are contemplating whence Shannon derived his suspension power.
Meanwhile, investigation continues.