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Nigeria Senate Plans to Ban Generators in the Country

The Nigeria senate is getting set to ban the use of generators in the country. The bill for an act to criminalise the importation, selling and usage of generators in Nigeria scaled the first reading on the floor of the Senate. The bill was sponsored by Niger State Senator Birma Enagi, and he prescribed a 10-year prison term for generator importers and sellers. The bill does, however, exclude generator importers and sellers intended for power essential services.

The exemption includes generators which are intended to serve medical purposes in healthcare facilities, airports, railway stations, elevators, escalators, research institutions and facilities requiring 24-hour electrical power. The bill is meant to curb the threat of environmental pollution and force an improvement in the country’s electricity supply.

Nevertheless, the bill is already being met with rigid opposition from major stakeholders, as expected. For example, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has challenged the Senate to focus on providing solutions to fix the country’s erratic state of power supply, rather than placing a ban on generator imports into the country.

That being said, we note that Nigeria’s power supply ranks amongst the world’s poorest. According to the World Bank, as of 2017, only 54.4% of Nigerians have access to any type of electricity that is below the global average of 88.9%. It is important to note that the 54.4 per cent access enjoyed by Nigerians remains erroneous and largely inadequate. Several companies have been crippled by the costs of running their businesses from alternative power sources.

Nigeria’s power sector is riddled with several challenges across the various value chain segments including generation, transmission, and distribution. The power value chain generation phase has been riddled with inadequate gas supply and poor infrastructure for operating near full capacity. The transmission system remains archaic, and several total breakdowns have been recorded that have hindered both power generation and distribution.

The distribution channel, in the meantime, is currently combating inadequate metering, minimizing ATC&C losses, and consumer power theft. Thus, we believe lawmakers should focus on assisting the executive in any capacity to solve the riddle of power that the nation has faced since its very existence.

Recently, the Federal Government signed an agreement with Siemens that committed to investing substantial sums across the power value chain. However, while we recognize solving Nigeria’s power problem is no walk in the park, the Nigeria senate trying to ban generators, which is the country’s alternative energy source in the face of poor power supply, appears to be quite poorly thought out.

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