The Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that sought to phase out the use of petrol cars and introduce electric cars in Nigeria by the year 2035.
The bill was sponsored by Sen Ben Murray-Bruce (PDP, Bayelsa). The senator told his colleagues that combustion cars were causing pollution and contribute to global warming and that developed countries were gradually phasing them out.
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce in his argument had argued that electric cars are healthy, economical and would not deplete the ozone layer.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that, as an oil producing country, sale of electric cars in Nigeria should be frustrated. He said this while kicking against the bill.
The bill ignited debates in the hallowed chamber, as each senator aired reasons for the rejection of the bill.
In his submission, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu commended Murray-Bruce for his “uncommon common sense and brilliant ideas,” but noted that the ancillary to Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution grants Nigerians freedom of movement; and that there is no need to introduce a law to mandate the use of electric cars.
Continuing, Ekweremadu said, “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 to sell our oil.”
Senator Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano) said while electric vehicles no doubt would be more friendly to the environment and health, making its use mandatory was not feasible.
“We have to look at individual net-worth. Not all Nigerians can afford the vehicles at a given time.
“We all know the importance of vehicles in our daily activities. So, banning use of fuel cars will cause hardship, particularly for those who may not be able to acquire electric cars.
Murray-Bruce withdrew the bill ultimately.