Nigeria businesses say ban on generators will hurt trade


The Nigerian Government has banned the importation of one of the most popular and affordable electricity generators due to pollution and health concerns. But local businesses say the generators are crucial in keeping operations running amid the nation’s chronic power outages.

It’s going to be very difficult for the government to enforce a ban on the importation of these generators. There is a huge market for it in Nigeria. And not only are they popular among households, they are also the essential live wire of small businesses across the length and breadth of this country.

Small businesses like that of Michael, who runs electronics repair shop in a small market in Lagos. With public power supply hardly available in the market, his small generator is his saving grace.

“I can’t do without it. For over one month now there has be no light in the market. So everyday, I use like five hundred naira fuel to run my business. So it’s quite cheaper for than buying bigger generator, So without that generator, I can’t do anything. My work needs light.” said Michael Onwubuya, Entrepreneur

Like Michael, Temi also relies on her small generator to keep her tailoring business business running. With it, she is able to power her fan, watch a movie from a small video player and use her electric sewing machine. Perhaps realizing the potential health hazard posed by the smoke of the generators, Michael and Temi as well others who use small generators will put them across the fence of the market, some distance away from their shops.

Despite the ban, the small generators are still selling. They are more like hot cakes because their fuel efficiency and affordability. A set cost just around 50 dollars.

For now the government is not going tough on the ban. Besides the ban does not cover the use of the generator. But that may change with time.