By Isa Amodu, Abuja
Importers and sellers of electricity generating sets in Nigeria may be in for a challenge as Senate passed for first reading a bill proposing 10 years jail term for generator importers and sellers.
The bill christened “A Bill for an Act to prohibit/ban the importation/use of generating sets to curb the menace of environmental (air) pollution and to facilitate development of power sector” was sponsored by Sen. Enagi Bima (APC-Niger).
According to the bill, which passed first reading at plenary: “Any person who imports generating sets; or knowingly sells generating sets shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not less than 10 years.
“Provided that this subsection shall not apply to the importation or sale of any generating set to be used for essential services.”
The ban however excluded essential services.
“The ban or prohibition of generating sets shall not include generating sets used for essential services which include Medical purposes (hospitals and nursing homes and healthcare facilities), airports, railway stations/services, elevators (lifts), escalators, research Institutions, and such facilities that require 24 hours electric power supply.”
The bill added: “Approval for exclusion shall be obtained from the Minister in charge of Power who shall brief the Federal Executive Council quarterly on approvals granted.”
“The bill further seeks that Nigerians should immediately stop the use of generating sets in order to curb the menace of environmental pollution, which leads to potential health hazards it poses to the whole nation.
“All persons are hereby directed to stop the use of electricity generating sets which run on diesel/petrol/kerosene of all capacities with immediate effect in the country,” it said.
Explaining the meaning of generating sets, the bill said “a machine that is used for producing electricity”.
It said: “This Bill seeks to ban the importation and use of generating sets (generators) in the country and to curb the menace of environmental pollution which leads to potential health hazards it poses to the whole nation.”