The Senate has called upon the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) to suspend its plans to issue new driver’s licenses and license plates to the Nigerian people for a fee.
The Senate is toeing the line the Representatives took late last year when the lower chamber directed the FRSC to cease and desist from its plans.
The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs has been mandated to conduct a public hearing on the scheme.
Mover of the motion, Senator Awaisu Kuta said, “The Act empowers the FRSC to primarily, prevent and minimize accidents on the highways and clear obstructions on any part of the highways and educate drivers, motorists and other members of the public generally on the proper use of highways.
“The Commission was not established principally as a revenue-generating agency for the states and federal government. In recent times, the FRSC embarked on frequent and arbitrary introduction and re-introduction of vehicles number plates and drivers’ licenses and the Commission will ultimately be generating a whooping N2 billion annually as its own share of the new scheme.
“The August 31, 2012 dateline issued by FRSC for the enforcement of the new scheme is not feasible because the current demand for vehicle license surpasses supply and thereby subjecting applicants to wait for as long as three months after payment before receiving number plates.”
The motion is supported by 19 other Senators. Also making contributions to the debate, Senator Barnabas Gemade stated that the action of FRSC was “controversial” due to an ongoing court case brought by the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) which hinders the FRSC from embarking on the issuance of license plates.
Senator Smart Adeyemi contributed, “”it’s clear that the FRSC has gone beyond its mandate. It’s our responsibility to call this Commission to order. They should work within the framework of the law. The cost of procuring the number plates is too high for the common man.”
The new driver’s license has been increased to N 6,000 from the previous N 3,000. License plates increased 300% to N 15,000 from the previous N 5,000. Some classes of vehicles would have to pay as much as N 40,000 for the new plates.
Reacting to the development, Ifeanyi Idibia, a commercial bus driver, jubilated stating, “Now I can have more money to feed my family. I was saving to be able to meet up for these costs. Thank God for our senators that is having the interest of the people at heart.”
Via Business News
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