Few weeks ago, the Nigerian Government placed a ban on importation of smaller power generating sets popularly known as ‘I pass my neighbor’; this was as a result of the risk it poses to human health through the fumes it discharges.
The federal government also said it causes air pollution and destroys the lungs and breathing system.
Almost every household or business center in Nigeria today uses this small generator as back up(when there is power failure) or as a source of energy to power their appliances.
In this special report, our correspondent sampled the opinions of some residents in Lagos and their reactions to the ban.
A visit to an electronics market in Lagos revealed that the smaller generators are more affordable and reliable due to rapid power failure, some of the people said they don’t have to wait for the main power before they can do their work.
Some individuals suggested that the federal government should have ensured there was steady power supply before placing a ban on the importation of generators for the benefit of the low income earners to have an alternative power supply.
Some of the residents were of the opinion that it makes no difference since they already have the product in their various homes as the ban does not directly affect them. Meanwhile, some dealers of the product said they don’t think that was a right move by the government because some business owners will suffer setback and it will lead to increase in unemployment rate in the country.
Miss Aminat, a business center owner said “sometimes, a plaza that was supposed to be using one big generator to power the whole shops but due to poor management, shop owners have smaller generators each thereby polluting the whole place with noise and fumes, which is dangerous to health”.
Mr David Odeh, an electronics seller said “the federal government should not have banned the importation of smaller generator because of people in remote areas and students who live off campuses, these people rely on the small generators because of its affordability and the fuel consumption is relatively low”.
Mr Malik Olawale said “in my area in Ipaja, we don’t have constant electricity supply and we used to charge our mobile phones, power the TV sets and lighting points and due to the current fuel situation in the country, the smaller generator is preferable since it works longer hours with little fuel consumption”.
Kunle Sabour, an engineer said “I believe there are other forms of serious air/noise pollution and health hazards than this ban on “I better pass My Neighbor” generator, and it is the least we expect the government to ban, it’s very important commodity to our everyday life and businesses considering the epileptic power supply in this country”.
John, a media analyst said: “I support the government ban on the generator because it will make the government step up their game and the masses to also concentrate on payment of the electricity fee, because to be frank, we people are not helping matters, many people boycott their meters just to avoid payment of used electricity bills”.
This generator ban for me is a good move, but they should start from the big generator with much noise and smoke”.