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Is FRSC’s New Vehicle Plate Numbers, Drivers’ Licence Regime Necessary?

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In the last couple of weeks, the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Federal Inland Revenue Service have stoutly defended the proposal for a new plate number and driver’s licence regime, they claim to be more customised and would help fight crime while racking in huge revenue to government coffers. Our staff writer, Calista Ezeaku and Photographer, Prince Dele Obinna went to the streets to speak with stakeholders. Their responses.

 

Chief Eugene Azuobi, Transporter/Cement Dealer.

It is not necessary. But I thank God for the effort the National Assembly is making to stop it. The plate number we are using now is  okay. The driver’s licence we are using is also okay. So I don’t see the essence of changing from this one to another. Again, the money they pegged the new one is very exorbitant, some people cannot afford it. It is not everybody that has a car  can afford the new plate number. So, it is not necessary at all. We should continue with the existing one.

Again, FRSC is not a revenue collector. So, they are not supposed to be changing plate numbers and licences every time, just to make money. So, they should leave the old one.

 

Mr George Nsien Samuel, Business man.

To me, it is very  necessary. Government allowed FRSC to come up with the idea of changing the plate numbers and driver’s licence. They (government) accepted it, so why trying to stop it now? The Road Safety Corp Marshal, Osita Chidoka, took the new plate number to the president, he accepted it. It was televised.

He took it to the Senate president and the speaker of House of Representatives. They accepted it. When the FRSC started selling it, for instance, I have bought it. They want to stop it after allowing people to spend so much to acquire the two. So, the point is that the new plate numbers and driver’s licence are now in circulation, let it continue.

I agree that the cost of the new one is on the high side. I spent about N45,000 to get this new plate number when I bought my car. Of course, I had a plate number and I asked them (FRSC), if I could return the old plate number to them so that I could get the new one at a reduced price but it was not done that way. So, the cost is high but it is nice. I even like this new one more than the old one. The new one portrays the image of Nigeria more.

 

Prince Collins Chima, Driver.

For me, I will suggest that the old vehicles, already using the old plate numbers should continue with them.  The new plate numbers should be for new vehicles coming into the country. It is of no use condemning the old plate numbers and making it mandatory that everybody should buy the new one. This is because if you look at the old and the new plate numbers, there is no difference, apart from the map of Nigeria on the new one.

Mr Emma Okoli, Printer.

Yes, I have heard of the FRSC’s proposal concerning the plate numbers and driver’s licence, and I feel that it’s just too exorbitant. So, I am thinking that the price for the new plate numbers should be N5,000.00, and anybody buying a plate number for a new car should pay higher while somebody who wants to renew an old one should pay less.

So, I’m not really against the new plate numbers because of the data involved. They said that they are going to customize it so that a plate number goes with the name of the car owner and I think that is okay. For security reasons and for ease of accessing data, it is okay. Although I doubt if that will be achievable in Nigeria because of the level of corruption and insincerity.So, that’s why I am afraid if it will work. We want to compare ourselves with countries abroad yes abroad it works, but in Nigeria, not everything works the way it is supposed to work. If they really want to keep a data base, they have to have another information base, where they can fall back on, assuming it gets lost in the system.

 

Mr Femi Kolawole, Seaman

This new plate number issue is a distraction to the country. The country had a plate number with five alphabets. After that, they introduced another new plate number with three alphabets. By the time those  numbers finished, they went back to the old plate numbers again. Now, they have brought another new one. Why is the country coming up with different plate numbers all the time. So, I feel that this is no difference between the new  and the old plate numbers. It’s a disturbance, it’s a stress. Somebody cannot be buying one plate number three times for one car. It is even a criminal act for one vehicle to have more than three plate numbers.

 

Mrs Emi Jameson, Civil Servant.

It’s not necessary. I don’t think that will solve our problem in Nigeria. We have a major problem, not that. So, there’s no need changing the plate numbers or driver’s licence. There had been several drivers’ licences. So, I don’t think the continuous change will solve any problem. It’s not necessary. It’s just to make the masses to spend. If not I don’t see any reason for that.

All the strategies they have been using to check crime, how many criminals have they tracked down. I don’t think a new plate number will help in checking crime. We’ve been hearing that but I don’t think that will be the solution to our problem. They should allow us to use the old ones we’ve been using. There is no need for a change. It’s not necessary.

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‘Reps Passed 88 Bills In Two Years’

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The House of Representatives has passed 88 bills out of 1407 bills in the past two years, its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has said.
The House clocked two years on June 11 and has two years left.
Mr Kalu had earlier  released  different data on the status of legislative activities. However, The Tide source  is yet to independently verify this latest data.
Mr Kalu had claimed that the House considered 853 bills and 41 of them passed, in the previous statement.
According to the new statement released on Friday, a total of 554 bills were introduced between June 2020 and June 2021. It was a sharp decline considering that the House introduced 853 bills between June 2019 and June 2020.
Although the decline could be blamed on the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The accurate number of bills considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021 is 1407 out of which the House has passed 88 bills.
“Additionally, the accurate number of motions considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021, is 730 out of which the House has made 98 resolutions on security issues.”
The data released by the lawmaker shows that while the introduction of bills has been easy, the progression of bills has been very slow.
A total of 942 bills are awaiting second reading, only 327 bills have been referred to committees, and 79 are awaiting committee of the whole consideration.
Within the same period, 730 motions were considered by the House. However, out of the 663 referred to committees, only 40 reports have been laid, and only six have been considered by the House.
Legislative activities suffered a great deal in 2020 due to the breakout of Covid-19. The National Assembly was shut down for about two months between March 2020 and May 2020.
At a point, the plenary was reduced to once a week.
However, the lawmakers did not help the situation by embarking on holidays at the slightest opportunity, thereby missing deadlines on passage of key legislation.
Also, a review of the legislative agenda of the House by The Tide source shows that the lawmakers are far behind in fulfilling their agenda.

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Accord To Contest In 12 LGAs

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Accord Party plans to contest only in 12 local government councils and 37 local council development areas at the July 24 council polls in Lagos State.
Its Publicity Secretary, Dele Oladeji, told newsmen in Lagos, yesterday that the party chose to contest only in its areas of strength rather than dissipate energy across the state.
He said Accord Party would contest chairmanship and councillorship seats in Somolu, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Igando-Ikotun, Agbado Okeodo, Agege, Alimosho, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Oshodi/Isolo, and Ifako-Ijaiye LGAs/LCDAs.
Oladeji said that the party had a good outing in these councils at the last council elections in 2017.
“We are set for the election and we are competing in our local governments of strength where we won in 2017.
“We are set to repeat the same feat and even win more than the eight councillorship seats we won in 2017 to become the only opposition party in the local government administration in Lagos State,’’ he said.
Oladeji said that the party was ready to go to court wherever its mandate was stolen as it did in 2017 local government elections.
“As against 2017 when we went to court only in few areas to get back our rigged mandate, this year, we will go to court in any number of local government areas where our mandate is perceived to have been stolen through rigging.
“As the only opposition party in the local government’s administration of Lagos State, we have retained the abiding hope of Lagos residents as the alternative party.”

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Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession

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The Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has cautioned the South-East against their agitations for Nigeria’s breakup.
Okorocha warned that Igbos would be the worst hit if Nigeria breaks up.
The former Imo State Governor spoke in Abuja while addressing some women groups yesterday.
Okorocha stressed that the South- East should push towards fixing the country and not its disintegration.
The lawmaker stressed that Igbos are nationalistic in nature, hence they should dismiss the urge for Nigeria’s disintegration.
He said: “It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in that place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more if Nigeria divides.
“Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos. It is either they married Igbo women or had some links with them. I can call names like, former President, Obasanjo; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few”.
South-East groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereignty State of Biafra, MASSOB, have been agitating for the disintegration of Nigeria.
IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu has been in the forefront, calling for Biafra’s actualisation.

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