In order to keep up with a rapidly expanding market, leading generator manufacturers are making concerted efforts to improve their products by adding a host of new features, for instance automatic switch-over mechanisms when power is cut off, as well as remote control and sound-proof systems.

According to a study by Vanguard Media, a news outlet in Nigeria, ten brands currently dominate the generator market. Mikano, Cummins, Perkins, FG Wilson and CAT lead the corporate/commercial sector, while Firman, Elepaq, Elemax, Lutian and Sumec firman lead the residential/domestic sector.

An electrical engineer told Vanguard: “We use the Mikano brand. I think it is convenient for us, it is reliable and their after sales service is great.”

Meanwhile, another electrical engineer said: “You are sure of 24/7 guarantee if you use CAT.”

Partial to the Cummins brand is pig farmer Ariola Igbalode, who said: “From what I noticed, Cummins is a quality generator with superior local support, it is environment-friendly. It is a power of one with all critical components made by Cummins. It has the lowest operating cost,  reliable, durable and  dependable, super silent and comprehensive warranty cover for two years with extended warranty options.”

Experts interviewed by Vanguard pointed to the challenges faced by the generator market, particularly in Nigeria.

“Most of the major sellers do re-badge their generators (especially domestic generators). However, because of quality assurance and sourcing, this is not an issue,” said Ofurum James, engineering manager at Lagos-Badagry Expressway. “Problems occur when unscrupulous importers buy the cheapest of the brands and re-badge them to make them look like quality brand.”

Generator repairer Akinwale Amusan gave his perspective on the issue, stating: “Not all generators are created equal. While there are companies that provide the highest quality generators that meet all standards and required performance, many importers source for cheap products and sell them to the Nigerians.

Some do not know generators and think they are offering good deals. Others purposely try and cheat people. Either way, it’s not good for you, the customer.”