The ‘ban’ on small generators

In a conversation with journalists in Lagos, a controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Madugu Sanni Jubrin announced that the Nigerian Government has banned small generators “because [they are] causing air pollution and destruction of our lungs and breathing system”. While the government’s decision to ban the generators is scientifically sound- it obfuscates the larger issue. The greatest threat to clean air in the country is caused by gas flaring and so far, the government has not done anything to stop it.
Gas flaring, which is a common process in oil exploration is a recurring environmental danger, however, the government has only made halfhearted attempts to curb it. In 2005, the Federal High Court of Nigeria ordered the discontinuation of gas flaring in the Niger Delta community by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SDPC), because it violates constitutional rights to life, yet, Shell flagrantly ignored this order and flaring continued.
Due to the oil companies disobedience, in 2011, then Minister for Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke issued a directive that increased the gas flaring penalty fee from N10 to about N600 per standard cubic feet. However, by 2012, Department of Petroleum Resources records showed that the government’s penalty was unable to contain the hazardous activities of the oil companies. Furthermore, none of the oil companies paid the fine throughout that year.
As of July, 2015, 10 oil companies were guilty of gas flaring and owed Nigeria over $800 million penalty fees. Fines aside, the consequences of flaring for human health and environment are more severe than emissions from mini generators- and through this ban the government shifts the responsibility away from themselves to citizens.
If the Federal Government is ready to be impartial, then, it should also be ready to place a ban on gas flaring responsible for global warming, acidic rain, cancer, leukemia on a much larger scale than ‘I better pass my neighbor’ generators.
No Nigerian rich or poor wants to use a genetator if he can be guatanteed regular public power supply. Running private generators is expensive and digs a hole in the pocket. This is the truth of the matter. As for the health hazards, we are being CO2ed everyday by the big generators,gas flaring such that our roofs are blackened, too many cars are thick smoke generators because too many lorries and other vehicles that ought to be off road are out there spewing CO2 into the air. However we are not yet as poluted as the ever cloudy Chinese towns sitting and living in CO2 embedded artmosphere. As for those who put on their small portable generators inside tyeir rooms or closed corridors, let the mass education continue and not the banning of the little investment the commonets reluctantly make to join the rich have some lighting and fan power in the midst of Never Expect Power Always. If the public Power companies can stop Holding the power they are supposed to be giving to us, we shall permanently divorce our and end our romance with generators whether big or small.

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