The Senate on Wednesday rejected the Bill for an Act to phase out petrol vehicles by 2035 and introduce electric cars.
This followed observations by lawmakers on the impossibility of mandating Nigerians to stop the use of petrol vehicles.
Following the rejection, the sponsor of the bill, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce Bruce, withdrew it.
He, however, raised a Point of Order, saying 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.
“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,” he said.
Presenting the bill before its rejection, Bruce said one of the major advantages of using electric vehicles was that it would help to solve the problem of ozone layer depletion.
He also said the use of electric vehicles would be health friendly, among other things.
Contributing, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, congratulated Murray-Bruce for the bill. He, however, 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 the 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.
“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.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, emphasised the need to move to other items on the day’s Order Paper since Murray-Bruce had withdrawn the bill.
He also said the Point of Order raised by Murray-Bruce before withdrawing the bill was noted.
Nigeria Coronavirus Cases Hit 81 As NCDC Announces 11 New Cases
Nigeria has recorded 11 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 81.
The Nigeria Disease Control Centre made this known late on Thursday.
It said eight new cases were recorded in Lagos State, two in Enugu and one in Edo.
Just In: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, the government has said.
Mr Johnson has mild symptoms and will self-isolate in Downing Street, after being tested at No 10 by NHS staff.
“He was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty,” a statement said.
He will still be in charge of the government’s handling of the crisis, the statement added.
In a tweet, Mr Johnson said: “Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus. I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
Six Coronavirus Patients to be Discharged in Lagos
The Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Dr Tunde Ajayi, has disclosed that six of the patients at the Infectious Disease Hospital have recovered.
Ajayi via his twitter handle, @thetundeajai, said the patients would be discharged soon.
“Six of our #COVID19 inpatients have recovered and will be discharged soon. There is something Lagos is doing right. Lagos takes the lead,” he wrote.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, 51 cases were confirmed in the country as of 11:25 pm on March 25.
“Out of the 51 confirmed cases, two have been discharged, while one death has been recorded. Lagos has 32 confirmed cases,” the NCDC wrote on its website.
Also, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, at a briefing on Wednesday said the state was tracing over 2,000 contacts.