The Director-General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Dr. Timothy Olawale, has described the proposed bill to criminalise the importation, selling and usage of generators by Nigerians as a clear move to kill surviving businesses in the country.
In a statement made available to Business Hilights, 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.
Dr Olawale urged restraint and maintained that legislation should focus on ensuring improved infrastructural development that will facilitate efficient generation and distribution of power to offices and homes of Nigerians.
He argued that going to suppress the survival efforts of ordinary Nigerians who are buying powers from wherever they can see to sustain their business will amount to lack of human face in legislative intelligence of members of the National Assembly (NASS).
According to him, Nigerians should not be punished for the ineffectiveness and policy inconsistencies of both present and successive governments.
NECA therefore called for serious government and lawmakers’ 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.
NECA further argued that “Nigeria is now faced with serious energy challenges, which predates the privatisation of the power sector. So, criminalising the importation and usage of generators is a crude and non-ingenious way to deal with a serious national issue like power”.
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that 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.
“NECA is clearly of the view 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,” Dr Olawale averred.