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REJECTION OF ELECTRIC CAR BILL: Nigerian senators don’t belong to 21st century —Ben Bruce



2019: Ben Bruce withdraws from senatorial race

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce from Bayelsa East has described Nigerian senators as still living in the past and not in tune with modern happenings.

He stated this on Wednesday after his colleagues rejected a bill that seeks to end use of petrol vehicles and introduce electric cars in the country by 2035.

“I want my colleagues to close their eyes and dream they are in the 21st century. In a few years time, combustion engine cars will no longer be manufactured. For the sake of my colleagues, I’ll withdraw the bill. You don’t belong to the 21st century and I understand,” Bruce said.

Nigerian Senate on Wednesday refused to consider any further the bill which was sponsored Murray-Bruce.

The bill had got first reading on the floor of the Senate on April 10. However, the lawmakers on Wednesday denied allowing the bill to be read and considered for a second time.

The Bayelsa East senator had in his lead debate, explained that the bill would serve two major purposes.

He said, “Combustion engine cars have continued to cause deaths through uncontrolled pollution. 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.”

Murray-Bruce had gone further to explain that all industrialised nations now have a set date to phase out petrol cars, adding that Nigeria would be setting good precedence if it takes the initiative to become the first African country to embrace electric cars.

According to him, one of the benefits an electric car is that it is far cheaper to maintain than petrol cars.

“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,” he added.

The bill was fail knocked by Senator Barau Jibrin. He had advised that Nigerians should be allowed to join use of electric cars at their economic pace rather than making it mandatory.

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He said, “Making it mandatory that everyone should resort to using electric cars at a given day is not feasible.”

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, and Andrew Uchendu aligned with Jibrin.

According to Uchendu, the bill failed short of the requirements of order 77 of the Senate standing order as it fails to state ‘financial implications.’

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