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Generator sellers on FG’s ban on importation of mini ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generator

‘It will affect the masses who can’t afford the big generators – they chorus

Sellers of power generating sets have expressed mixed feelings over the recent ban placed on the importation of the very popular I better pass my neighbour power generators by the Federal Government, knocking and praising the move in equal measure.

Announcing the embargo on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, the Controller of Federation Operations, Unit Zone A, Lagos, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Madugu Sanni Jubrin, revealed that the smaller generators were banned by the Federal Government because they cause air pollution and destroy the lungs and breathing system.

Continuing, he said, “That is why they have banned it but people are still interested in smuggling them in, that is why we intercepted them. If you go to the market, you still see them because people have imported them before the ban. So, it is the leftover they had before the ban that they are selling because the law did not backdate the ban and it is not an absolute prohibition.”

Explaining further in clear terms, he added: “It is prohibition by trade which means you cannot bring it in large quantity and sell to the public. That is the type of prohibition we have on this but if you buy one piece, Customs will not seize it”.

ENCOMIUM Weekly sought the reaction of generator sellers about the development. While some felt the move was in the interest of the masses, especially as regards health; others, however, thought it was ill advised, particularly considering the epileptic state of the country’s power supply.



What do you think about the government’s ban and how would it affect your business?

Most people in this area buy the small generator, it sells faster than the others. It’s difficult for the average person to cough out about N50,000 or N60,000 to buy bigger generator, but they can easily bring out N11,000 and purchase the small I pass my neighbour.

The bigger ones don’t sell as quickly as the smaller ones, so it will affect us.

How will you cope now?

Since they’ve banned the importation, what we’ll do is to change our business approach, we’ll switch to alternatives.



What do you think about the government’s ban and how would it affect your business?

I don’t see any effect it would have on us. Besides, there had been a lot of counterfeit Tiger generators in the market which do not last long, now with this ban on its importation, people will shift to the normal-sized ones. You know, the small generator doesn’t have a separate tank for engine oil, you have to mix it with the petrol, unlike the bigger ones that do. Sometimes, you may mix more or less oil than is needed which causes excess smoking. Also, it makes a lot of noise compared to the normal-size ones. So, I don’t see how this ban will affect business, I think it’s okay.

It won’t impact your sales?

No, I don’t think it would affect my sales in any way. Sometimes in a week, we won’t even sell the small generator, people will only be requesting for the normal-sized ones, because there are a number of things you can do with the bigger ones. They can power your freezer, air conditioner, you can even iron with it, whereas the smaller ones can’t do all this.



What do you think about the government’s ban on small generators importation?

The thing is that the government has always been banning Tiger generators, but they still keep importing it.

But if the government is serious about banning it, let them give us steady power supply. If they do, nobody will buy generators again. If there’s constant power supply, the business will die naturally. But as long as there is no light, people will buy and use generators, and it is not everybody that can afford the bigger generators of N50,000 or N60,000.

Do you expect people to stay without light, how would they survive! I don’t understand it at all, it seems they are just trying to punish the masses.

How do you think it would affect business?

Of course, it would surely affect our business, it’s a big source of income for us. It certainly will, it’s what the lower class can afford, so they buy it.

How will you cope?

Life must go on, there’s nothing we can do about it.



What are your thoughts on the ban?

I’m not against the ban, I think it’s for our own good, it’s for the good of our health. The only issue is that it will affect the masses, this is what they depend on since we do not have steady power supply. If we had constant light, there’d be no problem. there’s no light and the masses can’t afford the bigger generators.

How do you think it would affect business?

I don’t think it would affect my business because I have many other types I’m selling. Without it, I can cope fine. Though the bigger ones are more expensive, it won’t affect my business. I am just concerned about the poor masses who can’t afford the bigger generators.



How would this latest development affect your business?

Whenever there’s fuel scarcity like now or there’s no light for about two or three days, people can simply walk in and buy this I pass my neighbour generator, even those that have bigger ones, to help them economize their fuel.

You can’t compare both of them. For instance, if I stock say 20 of the I pass my neighbour in my shop, I can sell all before one of the bigger ones. So, yes it would affect us.

How would you adjust to this?

I would just replace the small generators with whichever that is selling and stock it in my shop.



What are your thoughts on the ban on generator importation?

I remember during Obasanjo’s time as president, generator importation was banned, yet it was still imported. So, I don’t think this latest ban would really affect business because it won’t stop people from importing generators into the country.

Besides, people don’t really go for the I pass my neighbour any longer because of its limitations, they’d rather buy the bigger ones that can power everything in the home. I don’t think the ban would affect us significantly, business will still be going on.

In place of the I pass my neighbour, people can go for the one we call “1.8” which is a little bigger than the I pass my neighbour.


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