Nigerian traders worried about ban on generator imports

Dec 23, 2015 The festive season is upon us and the hustle and bustle is real in Nigeria as preparations get underway for Christmas. But in some traders in the country aren’t in the best of moods following the recent ban of generator importation by the federal government.

It is a common sight and sound in Nigeria to see and hear the overlapping hums of low-income generator in homes and business outlets.

These generators, popularly called “I better pass my neighbor”, have served as a more affordable and readily available alternative source of power in the country. However, the government recently slapped a ban on its importation, citing health concerns and air pollution.

Nzeribe Smart Ikemefuna, a businessman in Lagos, wasn’t in the mood to mince word when he said:

“Banning of generator without having substitute or another alternative will be a very huge challenge to us because it will be a very big problem in the sense that if you don’t have generator, it will be a very big problem because how are we going to cope? Some days we can stay here without light or like two days, three days without light. You will see through out that week will be messed up. So before they will ban the generator they need to provide a means of light which is the major option that is the major that they must do. It is must,”

President Buhari had earlier pledged to increase the electricity supply in the country to 20,000 MW within four years and 50,000 MW within ten years.

The promises notwithstanding, ILGWU, a computer trader didn’t seem too enthusiast about it when he said:

“You know government, they promise and they will not fulfil their promise. If they can do it (solar power) I will be okay by that one because ‘I better pass my neighbour’ (generator) at times we start it, they will be complaining smoke and everything, all these things, neighbor will be complaining. If they can provide that one I think it is okay by me,”

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