Friday, April 12Inside Business Africa

Generator ban will kill business operations, says employers body

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has kicked against the proposed bill to criminalise the importation, selling and usage of generators by Nigerians.

NECA argued that the Bill, if passed into law, would kill small and medium-sized businesses as almost all of them use generators in their business operations.

The ban, NECA further said, would be inimical to the quality of lives of Nigerians and national development as a whole, notwithstanding the narrow list of exceptions.

Director-General of NECA, Dr. Timothy Olawale, while urging restraint, maintained that legislation should focus on ensuring improved infrastructural development that will facilitate efficient distribution of power to offices and homes of Nigerians.

He stressed that Nigerians should not be punished for the ineffectiveness and policy inconsistencies of successive governments. Olawale advised that government should focus on putting in place policies that would help to accelerate growth of the sector to make the importation and use of generators unattractive, while also promoting and encouraging the use of alternative clean energy sources.

According to him, a more strategic approach to national development will fast-track the industrialisation and development of the nation. He said the country is faced with serious energy challenges, which predates the privatisation of the power sector. He affirmed that criminalising the importation and usage of generators is a crude and non-ingenious way to deal with a serious national issue.

Quoting the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said lack of access to electricity and unreliable power supply are key constraints to doing business in Nigeria, estimating the annual economic loss at about $29 billion.

He maintained that a knee-jack ban on the sale and use of generators without resolving the challenges in the power sector will further compound the challenges faced by businesses.

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