The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) over the weekend dedicated a reconstructed state-of-the-art modern customer service center to enhance and improve relationships between their customers and staff.
The refurbished facility has a waiting area that accommodates 100 customers at a time, new offices for LEC staff, a call center equipped with better tools for tracking customers’ problems, including reporting power theft, additional restrooms, and facilities for physically challenged persons. When the MCC Compact with the Government of Liberia was launched in 2016, a major goal was to ensure that Compact investments would benefit women economically.
Female entrepreneurs were asked about the difficulties they faced in accessing electricity to generate income. Nearly all named poor customer service, the US Embassy in Monrovia has reported on its website. When asked what changes would be necessary to enable them to use electricity in their businesses, nearly all of the women surveyed asked for more responsive customer service so that they could acquire and maintain working connections to the power grid.
With the numerous responses from the field, the U.S. Government provided US$500,000 to rehabilitate the LEC’s Customer Service Center, including improving upon the existing structure and providing furniture, equipment, training, and vehicles to strengthen service to LEC’s customers. Making brief remarks at the dedication of the new customers’ services center at the LEC main offices in the commercial hub of Waterside, US Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy said the United States shares Liberia’s hopes and joins its efforts to secure a more prosperous tomorrow for the Liberian people.
He added that keys to that prosperity are inclusive economic growth, investing in people, and rule of law. He said he was honored to participate in the dedication of the center that underscores the strong partnership between Liberia and the United States. “It is an honor to participate in today’s dedication of this Center, a project which underscores the strong partnership between Liberia and the United States, and the American people’s broader investment in this country’s electricity sector through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID, and Power Africa.”
He said the Compact invested in the rehabilitation of Liberia’s largest power source, the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant as well as reconstruction of the Liberia Water and Sewage Corp. raw water pipeline, support for LEC’s management, training, and operational capacity, the establishment of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, and development of a road asset management system to support road maintenance planning. Speaking earlier, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Account, Monie Captan said the project is set up to improve LEC service delivery while ensuring that services were equally provided to women and social enfranchised groups.
“In addition to this project, we supported the setting up of a gender unit here at LEC, in implementing this, the MCAL ensured that the new customer service center included proper waiting areas, which now accommodates 100 walk-in customers as supposed to the 25 in the past, it has adequate sanitary facilities and handicap access. The customer service center is also equipped with an integrated information management system to improve the efficiency of the service delivery system by linking various departments to a common platform and database this has resulted in tracking of better service order due to an improved link between the customer services manager and technical staffs,” he noted.
Captan further said the service is equipped so that customers will be able to report power theft while the MCAL has also provided three vehicles to assist LEC commercial department to help customers’ response and public engagements. In January 2021, the MCC and Millennium Challenge Account Liberia marked the close of Liberia’s Compact. The US$257 million Compact aimed to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty in Liberia by addressing the inadequate access to reliable and affordable electricity and the poor quality of road infrastructure.