Nigeria is full of fake generators: How to identify genuine ones

This article presents guidelines to identifying fake generators in the market when looking to buy original products. Find out everything you need to know about the generator business and how not to fall for fake products. 

Buying a generator remains one of the most important purchasing decisions for Nigerians. You want to buy a generator that delivers on your expectations e.g. powers all your air conditioners and refrigerators and does so reliably, for many years without frequent need to replace parts or carry out repairs. Unfortunately, the excitement of buying a new generator often too quickly turns into disappointment. For instance, a generator that effortlessly powers two or more air conditioners could, just after six to eight weeks, struggle to power only one air conditioner or none! It soon starts to demand the attention of the neighborhood “generator engineer” every week and parts have to be changed. This is because a significant number of the generators in the open market is fake.

If you are buying your generator from the manufacturer’s representative e.g. purchasing Honda generators from John Holt, then you can rest assured you are buying an original. But to enjoy savings of up to 25%, most Nigerians buy from independent importers in the open market which is replete with fakes, from the Honda with cheap Chinese-made engines to counterfeits of high quality Chinese generators.

So, when buying from the open market, it is advised that you go with an expert to help you identify the original product.

Here are four things to check to avoid buying fake:

1.  The coil: All generators have coils which could be copper, aluminum or brass. Top quality generators have coils made with copper. Check a generator’s coil very carefully before buying. The coil should be neatly rolled inside the engine. If it isn’t, then the coil has been tampered with.  Rub your hands against the coil. If your hands are stained, this means the coil has been sprayed to make it look like copper. This may also be an indication that the engine has been refurbished; it will “knock” within three months.

Copper Wire Coil

Identifying fake generators

You will notice that the copper wire’s colour is reddish-brown. Although, some sellers might spray the aluminum or brass wire to look like the copper, you will know if it is sprayed because it will stain your hands once you feel it.

Also Read: Generator Industry Fraud: The A to Z

Alluminium Wire Coil

Identifying fake generators

As you can see above, the aluminum wire comes in shiny silver colour. This is not as durable as the copper coil.

Brass Wire Coil

Identifying fake generators

The brass wire is gold coloured. It is weakest of the three. In fact, you should never buy a generator that comes with such coil.


  1. The engine block: This is an easy check you can do by yourself. You can identify a fake engine block from an original one at first glance. A fake engine block is very shiny and light weight. Tap the engine, the sound it makes should be muffled if it is original, but if it is fake, it will make a loud resonating noise.

Block Engine

Identifying fake generators

  1. Engraved/crested name on the generator: An original generator should have its name crested/engraved on its parts: tank, engine block, air filter, carburetor, muffler, cylinder head cover, alternator rear frame and AVR. This might not be the case for all generators but ensure the generator you are buying has its name crested (not painted) on at least three to five of the parts mentioned before you pay for it.


Original Firman generator parts with its name engraved on them:


Identifying fake generators
Block engine

Identifying fake generators
Valves cover

Identifying fake generators
Silencer guild

Identifying fake generators
Air filter

Identifying fake generators
Fuel Tank


  1. The Sound of the generator: Don’t just enter a generator store and pick up a generator without asking the seller to test it for you. A generator’s fine package does not mean it is original. Insist that the generator is unpacked and switched on for you to hear its sound. A good generator makes a regular, continuous sound. If the generator’s sound is “rough”, don’t buy.

Also Read: Choosing The Best Generator for You

When you know what you are looking for, the chances of being cheated are drastically reduced.

Some places to buy genuine Generators: Dealers

  1. Akas power generator Nigeria

Plot #2, Adewunmi, Industrial Estate Off, Ikosi Road, Oregun Ikeja, Lagos

0803 3774248, 01 710 1923


  1. Atlantic Infinity Limited

18 Bayo Ajayi, off Jobi Fele, CBD Alausa Ikeja, Lagos.

0805 585 3479, 0803 301 9135, 0802 361 1222


  1. John holt

Plot 42, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregu, Ikeja, Lagos.

+234 9021092452

  1. Estendo

            Head office: 292 Wharf Road, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria.

            +234 809 700 2009 | +234 906 000 6940


  1. Honda Power plant

            Billings Way Road, Mobolaji Johnson way, Ikeja, Lagos.



  1. Bonachristub Int. Limited

            102, Freeman Street, Ebute-Metta (East), Oyingbo, Lagos.

            +234 8039192559, 8073190676


  1. Chus Best Eletronic Worldwide LTD

            Head Office: Shop B130 Alaba International Market Ojo, Lagos Nigeria.

            08034818073 – 07041699873

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