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General News Wed, 12 Mar 2008

VRA commended for restoring electricity to Liberia

From: Lawrence Quartey, GNA Special Correspondent, Monrovia, Liberia

Monrovia, March 12, GNA- The Volta River Authority (VRA) has earned great commendation and recognition from countries in the West African sub-region and other parts of Africa following its accomplished success in restoring electricity to the people of Liberia.

The VRA, which completed the phase I of the Liberian Emergency Power Programme (EPP) on Monday, March 11, 2008, received invitations from the governments of Sierra Leone and Guinea to assist them in restructuring their electricity sub-sector.

Some of the countries were requesting for a management contract with the VRA and other auxiliaries services. Major General Francis Adu-Amanfro, Ghana's Ambassador to Liberia, made these known in Monrovia on Monday, at the official closing ceremony to commemorate Ghana's participation in the EPP, organised by the Liberian Government.

He said "the interest demonstrated by Ghana speaks of us and the kind of expertise in Ghana as well as making Ghana a shining star in Africa."

Major Gen Adu-Amanfro said President Kufuor's commitment to the process, had greatly facilitated the programme. The Ambassador said "the beginning was not easy especially when it became so difficult to get the needed materials for work in Monrovia. "Initially most Liberians doubted that the VRA officials could execute the job and even meet the deadline of July 26, 2006 and bring light to Monrovia as promised by their President.

"But the joy of the first day of light in Congo Town in Monrovia is now a memory that many will cherish for a long time." Major Gen Adu-Amanfro said the Liberian Electricity Company (LEC)'s adopted slogan: "Small light today, bigger light tomorrow" had become a reality in Monrovia as it moved into the phase II of the EPP which would involve expansion of the power to other parts of the country. According to the Ambassador, the decision by President John Agyekum Kufuor to join President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson on July 26, 2006 to commission the first light, demonstrated Ghana's commitment to the Liberian rebuilding process.

Major Gen Adu-Amanfro said "Today any one who visits Monrovia would not only see the restoration of life in the people and businesses as a result of the electricity provided, but would also hear that the VRA has become a household name especially in the LEC."

The name of the VRA in Monrovia is often heard in expressions among the Liberians as: "Your people are too hard working, they like work too much. In fact Ghana has done so much for us."

The EPP, which began in 2006, was in fulfilment of the Government of Ghana's assurance to assist the Liberian government to restore electricity to that country after the people had lived in total darkness for 15 years.

Ghana through the VRA provided technical assistance with project design, the construction engineering for both civil and electro-mechanical works as well as the responsibility for the implementation of the construction phase.

Source: GNA