From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, has cried out to the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to facilitate the payment of over N700 million owed it by various states in the country.
He also said the commission was tinkering with the idea of increasing the cost of procuring the driver’s licence and vehicle plate number, stressing that the current rate of N6,000 and N12,000 for both items respectively, was no longer sustainable judging from the hike in operational cost.
Speaking at the 136th meeting of the JTB held in Abuja yesterday, the Corps Marshall said the debt was crippling its operations nationwide, adding that its running cost keeps swelling as many states have failed to supply generators to the FRSC offices where vehicle plate number plates and drivers licence are procured.
He however hailed some states like Anambra and Delta for offsetting their debt, even as he urged others to toe the same path.
“FRSC is owed N700 million. I’ve written to the JTB. We need this money badly because it’s hurting our operations. Some states have credit balance of millions. We offer credit facilities but paying for service rendered is now very key. I hope the JTB intervenes”, he said. On the plate number and driver’s licence, Oyeyemi said the FRSC was spending much more to produce the two items due to recession, a development that is forcing the commission to push for an increase in the cost of procuring them.
“N6,000 to get a driver’s licence and N12,000 for vehicle plate number is too poor. We are spending so much to produce them. I’m running over 200 in stations across the country. I shouldn’t be providing that. The states should.
“When I came in last year, the popular Mikano generator was N1.5 million, now it’s N3.8 million. Only Kwara State provided a generator. Majority of the states defaulted in providing that. All states should have secured offices. They should own these stations and I want to relocate workstations there. I want to stamp out corruption. Enough is enough.
“So, for us, our running costs is too high and the states should help us. We can be collecting N1,000 on every plate number and N500 on every licence as commission. That will help us a great deal”, he stated.
The Corps Marshall also hailed its collaboration with Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the vehicle registration process, pointing out that such cooperation has helped it detect about 43 stolen vehicles which people tried to re-register.
“Some used fake Customs papers. Others were fake clearing agents and all that. So, we detected them and this year has the highest record of such. We need to strengthen this collaboration because government is losing revenue through leakages. Interestingly, we’ve developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and it’s remaining for our sister agencies to sign. We’re involving the DSS on that. we need to collaborate to become more efficient and have government’s revenue increased especially now that we’re diversifying from oil’, he stated.
Oyeyemi also said plans were afoot to ensure more vehicles are carrying the new plate number, as records show more vehicles still adorn the old plate number.
“We’ve 12 million vehicles in Nigeria from our database. Only about 4 million vehicles are registered in the new scheme. Others are old. We need to harmonise this”, he said. (The Sun)