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Bill seeking to ban importation of generators passes first reading in Senate

A BILL seeking to ban importation of generators into Nigeria on Wednesday passed the first reading on the floor of the Nigerian Senate.

The proposed legislation which is titled “Generating Set (Prohibition/Ban) Bill 2020” seeks to prohibit and ban importation of generating sets all across the country.

It is sponsored by Muhammad Bima, senator representing Niger South Senatorial District in the Senate.

The bill however, proposes to exclude ‘essential services’ such as medical purposes, railway stations/services, elevators (lifts), escalators, research institutions, and facilities that require 24 hours electric power supply from the ban.

Bima, through his proposed bill seeks that all persons using generating sets across the country be completely banned to avoid environmental pollution.

Nigeria has grappled with poor power generation and supply despite huge budgetary allocations by current and past administrations to fix the power sector.

According to USAID, Nigeria has the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts (MW) of electric power from existing plants, but is only able to generate around 4,000 MW, which is insufficient.

Despite privatisation of the distribution companies, power distribution remains a huge challenge and there is a wide range of tariffs.

In the 2020 annual budget, the State House, which is the office and official residence of the president budgeted N45.6 million to power generating plants.

Also throughout the 2019 budget, there are 1,358 generator-related expenses.

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No fewer than 70 million generators have been imported into Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer, Consistent Energy Limited,  Segun Adaju said in a report by The Nation in 2017.

Data on Genset Import/Export Trade from United Nations Statistics Division, shows Nigeria is the second largest market for generator driven economy in Africa.

Contained in the explanatory memorandum of the bill is that banning importation of generating sets will curb environmental pollution which leads to potential health hazards. It also advocates that the ban is ‘facilitate the development of the power sector

Read the content of the bill below

A BILL FOR AN ACT TO PROHIBIT/BAN THE IMPORTATION USE OF GENERATING SETS TO CURB THE MENACE OF ENVIRONMENTAL (AIR) POLLUTION AND TO FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE POWER SECTOR

Sponsor: Senator Bima, Muhammad Enagi (Niger South Senatorial District)

ENACTED By the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

  1. Prohibition/Ban on importation generating sets

Any person who

a) Imports generating sets; or

(b) 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.

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Provided that this subsection shall not apply to the importation or sale of any generating set to be used for essential services.

  1. Ban Excludes Essential services

(3) The ban/prohibition of generating sets shall not include generating sets used for essential services which include:

(i) Medical purposes (hospitals and nursing homes and healthcare facilities), (ii) Airports,

(iii) Railway stations/services,

(iv) Elevators (lifts)

(v) Escalators,

(vi) Research Institutions, and

(-vii) such facilities that require 24 hours electric power supply:

(b) Approval for exclusion shall be obtained from the Minister in charge of Power whc shall brief the Federal Executive Council quarterly on approvals granted.

  1. Ban on Use

All persons are hereby directed to stop the use of electricity generating sets which run on diesel/petroI/kerosene of all capacities with immediate effect in the country.

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  1. Meaning of Generating Sets In this “Bill” generating set (Generator) meansA machine that is used for producing electricity.
  2. Short Title

This Bill may be cited as the Generating Sets (Prohibition/Ban) Bill, 2020.

Explanatory Memorandum

This Bill seeks to ban the importation and use of generating sets (generators) in the country and to curb the menace of environmental pollution which leads to potential health hazards it poses to the whole nation.

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