The Informal Workers Organization of Nigeria (FIWON), has flayed the federal government’s decision to ban the importation of mini-generators also known as ‘I better pass my neighbour’, saying the move would further impose hardships on workers in the nation’s informal sector.
The organization has therefore finalized plans to embark on a peaceful protest in Lagos on Thursday, December 10 to draw attention to their misgivings over the ban.
It would be recalled that the Comptroller, Federation Operations Unit Zone A, Lagos of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Madugu Sanni Jubrin, last month said the use of mini-generators in the country has largely contributed to air pollution and inhalation-related problems.
“The smaller generators have been banned by the Federal Government because it is causing air pollution and destruction of our lungs and breathing system”, Mr. Jubrin said.
The reason given by the federal government was rejected by FIWON’s General Secretary, Comrade Gbenga Komolafe, who wondered why the same ban was not extended to massive diesel generator units used by banks, factories and other big establishments, adding the diesel-operated generators emit more carbon than the mini-generators, which use petrol.
“Why has the federal government been pussyfooting over the much talked about continued gas flaring in the Niger Delta by multinational oil corporations when we know that those flares have severely damaged our environment while imperiling the lives of millions of people in Niger Delta communities?” Comrade Komolafe queried at a press briefing in Lagos Tuesday
According to him, the decision to single out mini-generators for ban by the government was not borne out of a genuine concern for the well-being of Nigerians, “but an attempt to scapegoat poor working people in the informal sectors of the economy that largely depend on this generators to power their little workshops and businesses”.
The FIWON scribe said given that its members voted massively to bring the current administration to power, the decision to ban importation of mini-generators was a most unkind punitive pay back that threatens their right to employment and decent livelihood.