OrderPaperToday – The Senate on Wednesday stepped down a bill seeking to replace petrol vehicle with electric cars in the country by 2035.
The bill sponsored by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa) was read for the first time on the 10th of April this year.
Presenting the lead debate and highlighting the reason of the bill, Murray-Bruce said: “Combustion engine cars have continued to cause deaths through uncontrolled pollution”, stressing that car pollution is one of the major causes of global warming.
“Secondly, we have been spending over N1 trillion annually subsidising fuel in this country. By introducing electric cars, fuel subsidy will automatically be gone and those funds will be used for infrastructure and education.”
The Bayelsa Senator argued further: “To charge your electric cars, all the filling stations will be replaced with solar charging stations. Thankfully, this country is blessed with sunlight 365 days in a year.
“Electric cars are outselling petrol cars as witnessed in Norway a few weeks ago. It makes more sense to build Nigeria’s biggest power plant than refineries.”
Most of his colleagues were however not supportive of the bill.
Senator Barau Jibrin believes the bill has a lot of advantages one of which is health friendly however, “it is not doable. I sympathise with the mover although it has good intendments, the fact is the economic perspective, let us put this on hold and allow time.”
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in his remarks noted that there is no need for legislation for Nigerians to make use of such cars.
He explained: “What is not common in the sense of looking at the lead debate for a legislation to introduce electric cars. Before now, we were using donkeys for transportation then we started using cars. We did not require any law.
“Secondly, section 41 on freedom of movement covers it.”
Ekweremadu also stated that the bill should be discouraged because Nigeria is an oil producing country, “we must do everything to frustrate electric cars.”
On Senator Andrew Uchendu’s part, he said the bill failed to meet requirements of order 77 of the Senate standing order in failing to state “financial implications.”
Obviously disappointed, Senator Bruce decided to step down the bill and said: “In a few years time, combustive fuel cars will not be manufactured. I have a TESLAR that I have been using for 5 years in Abuja and I charge it with solar energy. It doesn’t cost much to maintain. You (Senators) do not belong to the 21st century. I understand.”
Another bill by Murray-Bruce was rejected.
It sought to amend the 1999 constitution in a bid to give Nigerian citizenship to African origins.