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Senate rejects bill to phase out petrol vehicles

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Passes Police Reform Bill

THE Senate, yesterday, 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, yesterday, 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…”

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.

The  Senate also  passed the Police Reform Bill, 2019. The law makers passed the bill yesterday during Plenary. Titled, Senate Bill 683, the bill was passed after the third reading.

Senator Tijjanj Kaura (APC-Zamfara North) had presented the report, and it was seconded by Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia North).

They both asked the Senate to consider the report of the Committee on Police Affairs on the Police Reform Bill, 2019 (SB. 683), following which the Senate moved into the presentation and consideration of report.

The Senate, in considering the bill, dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for its clause-by-clause consideration.

Deputy Majority leader ,Senator Bala N’allah (APC-Kebbi South), arguing in favour of the bill, said some UK delegates had, during the orientation programme, commended the bill, describing it as “the most important bill of the eighth Senate.”

Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC-Lagos East), asked if the Police Force had enough for logistics, or if they have running funds to take care of fuel or even stationaries.

He suggested that the Senate focus on the Police Trust Fund as a form of intervention.

“We have to look at what this Bill stands for and address issues such as welfare and the environment in which they work,” Ashafa counselled.

In his response to the passing of the bill, Senate President, Bukola Saraki noted that the bill was passed to “ensure that the Police officers are of better condition and are more productive.”

 

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