A bill seeking to ban the importation of generators has passed first reading in the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, March 11.
The proposed legislation titled “Generating Set (Prohibition/Ban) Bill 2020″ is sponsored by Senator Muhammad Bima from Niger state.
1. Finance Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 397) by Senator Abdullahi Yahaya.
Finance Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (SB. 397) is read the First Time.
— The Nigerian Senate (@NGRSenate) March 11, 2020
In Nigeria, almost everyone depends on generators; including President Muhammadu Buhari and occupants of Aso Rock Villa.
According to various reports, the President’s office spent 46 million naira fueling generators this year.
In the country’s 2019 budget, there are 1,358 generator-related expenses.
The shortage of power is one of the biggest issues in Nigeria for an economy that is dependent on oil exports.
Nigeria generates a measly 3000 MW despite enormous resources that have been committed to the power sector.
Excerpt from the Senate Bill reads, “Prohibition/Ban on importation generating sets.
“Any person who
- Imports generating sets; or
- Knowingly sells generating sets shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not less than ten years.”
However, this subsection shall not apply to the importation or sale of any generating set to be used for essential services.
The essential services excluded are:
- Medical purposes (hospitals and nursing homes and healthcare facilities),
- Railway stations/services,
- Elevators (lifts)
- Research Institutions, and
- such facilities that require 24 hours of electric power supply.
According to the Senate Bill, approval for exclusion has to be obtained from the Minister in charge of Power who shall brief the Federal Executive Council quarterly on approvals granted.
The Bill further states that “all persons are hereby directed to stop the use of electricity generating sets; which run on diesel/petrol/kerosene of all capacities with immediate effect in the country.”
According to Bima, this is necessary in order to curb the menace of environmental pollution; which leads to potential health hazards it poses to the whole nation.