March 14, 2020

Onuesoke asks Senate to jettison bill to ban generating sets

1999 Constitution



People Democratic Party PDP Chieftain, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has urged the Senate to stop further deliberation on the proposed bill to ban the importation and use of generating sets in Nigeria.

The Bill sponsored by the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Muhammed Enagi Bima, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger South proposed to ban the use of electricity generating sets in the country.

Titled ‘Generating Set (Prohibition/Ban) Bill, 2020’, the bill was first read on the floor of the Senate last Wednesday.  It prescribed a minimum of 10 years imprisonment for anyone selling generators.

In a chat with aviation correspondent questions at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Onuesoke said the Senate do not need to criminalise use and importation of generators in Nigeria, stressing that all things being equal, generators will naturally fizzle out if there is an uninterrupted power supply in the country.

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“It is a criminal offence to use or import generators in Egypt. This is because there is twenty four hours electricity supply. Even in Ghana, our nearest West-Africa neighbour, people do not use generating sets. This is because there is regular power supply. Nigeria should firstly put their house in order before passing laws that could be described as oppressive to the masses,” he advised.

Maintaining that further discussion on the bill is a waste of legislative time and resources, the former Delta governorship aspirant queried: “Is it the role of the citizens to provide light? Is it not because government has failed to do what they should do that citizens have resorted to self-help by using generating sets? So what will the citizens that are in hospital theatres during an operation and light goes off do?  God please save us from voting in leaders with no idea of what governance is all about.”

Wondering why some lawmakers are insensitive, Onuesoke recalled that another senator sponsored death penalty speech bill last year and another is now proposing 10 years imprisonment for importing and selling generator in oil rich Nigeria where the government has failed to provide any basic service of electricity and water to its citizens.

Onuesoke pointed out that he expected the Senator to focus on how to fix the power sector by suggesting the free distribution of solar panel and inverters to people as a way of discouraging the use of generator, rather than talking about ban and imprisonment.