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Breaking…Senate opposes electric cars, Nigerian citizenship for Africans

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Breaking...Senate opposes electric cars, Nigerian citizenship for Africans

Senate, on Wednesday rejected a Bill for an Act to phase out petrol vehicles in 2035 and introduce electric cars.

Similarly, it turned down a Bill for an Act to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow persons of African origin to acquire Nigerian citizenship for the purpose of re-integration and development.

The two bills were sponsored by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, PDP-Bayelsa East, but unanimously rejected by his colleagues during plenary.

The lawmakers noted that it will be impossible for the government to mandate Nigerians to stop the use of petrol vehicles and automatically embrace electric ones.

Senator Murray-Bruce, however, withdrew the bill, but said that posterity would judge him right for the need to embrace electric vehicles, adding that in no distant time, combustible vehicles would be phased out.

According to him, the earlier Nigeria buys into the change, the better.

He said: “I can never quarrel with my leaders and friends but I want them to close their eyes and know they are in the 21st century.

“I own an electric car that I have been using for the past five years. It is cheaper to maintain and durable. So, the fears put forward by my colleagues are highly debatable.

“I will withdraw the bill but I want my colleagues to know they do not belong in the 21st century”.

Presenting the bill before its rejection, Senator
Murray-Bruce, said one of the major advantages of use of electric vehicles is that it would help solve the problem of ozone layer depletion.

He also said the use of electric vehicles would be health friendly among other things.

Contributing, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said there was no need for a law to be passed for Nigerians to switch from use of petrol vehicles to electric vehicles.

He said, going down history, people moved from the use of animals as sole means of transportation to use of bicycles, motor bikes, cars and other advanced means of transportation.

According to him, the provisions of the 1999 Constitution which provide for freedom of movement sufficed.

Breaking...Senate opposes electric cars, Nigerian citizenship for Africans

“I congratulate Ben Murray-Bruce for his uncommon common sense and brilliant ideas in the lead debate but what is not common is the need to introduce a law to mandate the use of electric cars.

“If we go down in history donkeys were used as means of transportation and there is no law that caused people to begin to use cars.

“This is ancillary to section 41 of the 1999 Constitution, which requires freedom of movement. So, he should consider taking back the bill.

“Besides, in economic sense, we are an oil producing country. So, we should do everything possible to frustrate the sale of electric cars in Nigeria to enable us sell our oil”, Ekweremadu stressed.

Also, Senator Barau Jibrin, APC-Kano North said while electric vehicles no doubt would be more friendly to the environment and health, making its use mandatory was not feasible.

On the citizenship bill, Senator Dino Melaye, PDP-Kogi West said “the bill is catastrophic in the sense that we all know that Nigeria is nearly 200 million people, and our current growth rate is over two per cent”.

He warned that the nation’s population might suddenly rise to 500million it the borders and nationality and citizenship are opened for Africans to come in freely.
In his own, Senator Bala Na’Allah, APC-Kebbi South, said the National Assembly cannot by law coerce people to become citizens of Nigeria, but through application signifying of intention.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, also noted that Nigerians need no law to switch from petrol vehicles to electric ones and therefore ruled against it after majority of lawmakers shouted ‘nayes’ to the question put for or against it approval.

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