In order to ease the problems being encountered by Nigerian motorists in the process of renewing their driving license every three years, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi said the Federal Government has approved the production of another National Driver’s Licence that will have a five-year expiry period.
Speaking with motoring journalists in Lagos, Oyeyemi said the decision to have the five-year driving licence was taken by the Joint Tax Board at its 134th meeting held recently in Kano, which was presided over by the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler.
Before now, the driving licence had a three-year terminal date after which motorists were expected to renew the document.
Oyeyemi, however, said the three-year driving licence would not be jettisoned, adding that it would exist side by side with the new one.
He said, with the new five-year driving licence, motorists would have the option of going for that or the three-year licence.
Quoting from a communiqué issued by the JTB after the meeting, the corps marshal said, “The board has approved an optional validity period for driving licence of three and five years at different costs to provide more efficient an effective service delivery to its customers.”
According to him, while the three-year licence will cost N6,000, motorists are to pay N10,000 for the five-year document, stressing that the cost has not been increased.
The FRSC boss stressed that any new applicant for any of the two driving licences would have to go to an approved driving school for training to qualify for a licence to drive.
Another decision, he said, taken at the JTB meeting was the production period for vehicle number plate, which the FRSC would henceforth complete in five working days.
Oyeyemi also cleared the air on the recent court pronouncement on the speed limiter, noting that it only declared that the corps should not fix the gadget’s price or market it but it could enforce the use of device in commercial vehicles.
“I’ve never spoken about prices and marketing since the speed limiting device campaign started. We’re not involved in that. Ours is the enforcement of the device. We’re only concerned about what can bring down road crashes,” he said.
He expressed satisfaction with the success so far recorded with the speed limiting device and commended various transport groups and firms that had bought into the idea.
For instances, he said a number of transport companies had purchased vehicles affixed with the speed limiting device now being deployed in long distance routes.
According to him, following the directive by the National Automotive Design and Development Council to motoring firms to start fixing the speed limiter device in all the vehicles being produced in the country, many of them have started complying.
Meanwhile, in its determination to restore sanity in the issuance of the National Driver’s Licence and make the operation corrupt-free, the FRSC has announced its readiness to partner the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC).
The FRSC Corps Marshal made this known when he paid a visit to the ICPC Headquarters Abuja.
The Chairman of ICPC, Ekpo Nta described FRSC as an exemplary organisation whose activities have impacted positively on the image of the country, stating that if there was any organisation in the country that he would recommend for international accolade for what is good in Nigeria, it would be the FRSC.
Nta commended the Corps for its efforts in mobilising members of the public for road safety campaign through its Special Marshal initiative and enjoined all patriotic Nigerians to join in the task of making the nation’s roads safer.
On the restoration of sanity in the issuance of the driver’s licence, the ICPC Chairman gave kudos to the FRSC for its initiative in reforming the licensing system of the country, pointing out that with its reciprocity status, it would be an embarrassment to the country if the driver’s licences issued in the country and presented to foreign countries are found to be fake.
This, he said, makes it imperative that relevant stakeholders should work together to ensure that the integrity of the system is protected and those that engage in parallel production or tout in the documents are identified and punished accordingly.
“Nigerian Driver’s licence has reciprocal status with other foreign countries. It will therefore, embarrass the country, if fake licences are allowed to be presented to reciprocal countries as the genuine licences produced in the country,” he stated.
“The Driver’s licence is also an identity document that many people rely on to transact business. We would therefore, work with the FRSC to ensure that those that engage in parallel production or tout in the documents are identified and punished,” he further stated.
In his remarks, the Corps Marshal thanked the Chairman of the ICPC for his interest in matters of road safety as demonstrated by his long standing association with the FRSC as a member of the Special Marshal.
He further stated that he decided to visit the ICPC in order to share ideas of road safety with the Management of the Commission and to solicit the support of the Commission in ensuring the restoration of sanity in the issuance of the licensing system of the country.
The Corps Marshal pointed out that he is determined to leave a legacy of corrupt-free organisation for the Corps and would work hard to sustain its positive image through various policies and programmes including the inauguration of the FRSC Antic-Corruption Committee.
Oyeyemi expressed dismay at the practice of some people who continue to patronise touts or rely on third party to obtain fake licences at ridiculously high prices against the N6,350 that has been set by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) for the acquisition of the licences.
Calling on the ICPC to collaborate with the FRSC in sanitising the system by detecting the fraudsters and bringing them to book, Oyeyemi also solicited the support of the ICPC in monitoring the operations of his men on patrol.
According to him, as an organisation that is built on integrity, FRSC does not condone any form of corrupt practice and any of his men found to be engaged in act of corruption would not be given cover.
The Corps Marshal assured the ICPC Chairman that the doors of the FRSC will remain open for the success of the partnership including the utilisation of the platforms of its Academy and Training School to build the capacity of the staff of the two agencies in order for them to operate on the same level for the restoration of sanity in the operations of the Corps and the licensing system of the country.
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