The Nigeria Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps had different views on Wednesday over the legality or otherwise of the production of the new number plates and driver’s licence.
At the second day of the public hearing on the new number plates and driver’s licences by the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Deputy Inspector General of Police Olajide Akano, asserted that the said new number plates registration and driver’s licence upgrading by the FRSC was illegal and a violation of the Act setting up the commission.
Akano said the police had already concluded an electronic data system, Enhanced Central Motor Registration, that would capture vehicle registration in the country electronically to further assist in addressing the security problem since most of the criminal activities were carried out using vehicles.
He noted that the ECMR would cost only N3, 500 for a plain glass vehicle and N5, 000 for a tinted glass vehicle.
But the FRSC Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka, countered the position of the Police, saying the ECMR programme of the Police had been faulted and certified illegal by the Joint Tax Board that met separately at Kano and Nasarawa States.
Osita, while reading the communiqué of the JTB to the senators, said the Act of the FRSC was very clear on the issue of the production of number plates and the compilation of data for it by the commission.
He said, “At the 104th meeting of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) between August 6 to August 7, 2003 in Nasarawa State and the communiqué noted that road taxes are the responsibility of the states. The communiqué also highlighted that the ECMR are un-receipted by the Police.
“The meeting agreed that the function of keeping motor vehicle records is kept statutorily by the FRSC. The CMR, as currently put, is illegal. The JTB said that.”
It took the intervention of the Chairman of the committee, Senator Aweisu Kuta, to put the altercations under control.
Senator Kabiru Marafa, a member of the committee, faulted the position of the DIG of Police, that the FRSC did not have the right to produce the number plates pointing his attention to a clause in the FRSC Act.
The committee was however against a fresh plan by the police to embark on another registration which they thought would be an added burden to Nigerians.