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The Generating Set (Prohibition/Ban) Bill 2020: A Blessing Or A Curse? By Summer Okibe

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is crystal clear that the Legislatures pay no attention to the needs of the people before passing any billbecause I see no sensible reason why this bill should be passed into law.

There are certain things that the Legislatures should take into consideration before the passage of the bill and they are;

  • Is this bill relevant?
  • Do we have a steady supply of power?

Relevance of the bill:

For years, we haven’t had a steady supply of power and this bill would still not ensure that there would be steady supply of power. The bill in its entirety is irrelevant and should be disregarded.

The bill made no room for the constant supply of power but went ahead to ban generating sets for individuals and excluded hospitals, universities and airports that provide essential services.

How can generating sets which run on diesel, petrol and kerosene be banned from a country that resorts to any of them when there is no light?

How can we survive without them since there is a deficiency on the steady source of power?

Since the legislatures think the bill is relevant, they should comfortably ask themselves if since the creation of Nigeria, there have been steady supply of power. Can we have supply of power non-stop for years? If the answer is in the negative, then that shows how irrelevant the passing of the bill into law is.

Steady Power Supply:

On the issue as to whether we have steady power supply is indeed a rhetorical question because we know for a fact that we have no steady power supply in this country. You can imagine receiving electricity bill for a particular month from EEDC when there was no light that month. My question is where did the bills come from? What are we paying for actually? This is the reason why the idea for prepaid meter was considered. However, in some states, prepaid meters have not been given out to people who have applied and they are still subjected to paying the electricity bills for no service rendered.

Nigeria is still a developing country and has a lot of work to do before such bills can be passed.

I am of the view that such bills need not be passed as if there’s steady supply of power in our country, generating sets becomes irrelevant in the country and the use of generating sets would be as a result of choice and not of necessity.

Take a look at the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Ghana etc., they have steady supply of power, they don’t have any law prohibiting the use of generating sets. Generating sets are bought over there by way of choice and not because of lack of power.

Senator Muhammad EnagiBima’s reason behind the proposed bill is to curb environmental pollution in Nigeria. No doubt, there is need to curb environmental pollution in the country but there are other vital issues that cause environmental menace to our health and not just generating sets such as oil extraction by companies, importation and exportation of oil and flaring gas.The Legislatures should pay more attention to providing stricter sanctions for violation of laws put in place to combat environmental pollution in Nigeria.

However, you can’t give what you don’t have. Generating sets contributes to air pollution in Nigeria but how then can the issue of low supply of power be tackled? These are the issues – We just wake up one morning and propose that a bill should be passed into law irrespective of the effects it would have on the country.

The Legislature should be more worried about the lack of power supply in the country and take steps towards tackling it because once that is tackled, no Nigerian would resort to generators except they are used for essential services such as – Medical purposes, Airports, Railway stations, Elevators, Research Institutions and other facilities that require 24 hours power supply.

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