- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
THESE rates are clearly way off what the masses can afford. In present day Nigeria, it will be uncharitable for any one, least of all, a government to assume that owning any type of vehicle is a luxury that should be taxed. And it is rather surprising that even buses and articulated vehicles that are used for mass transit and mass movement of goods respectively are not spared the meteoric rise in the registration fees. If there must be an increase in number plates registration fees, should the increase be retrospective? Why should vehicle owners who obtained their number plates months or even years back be made to replace them at astronomical rates? If indeed the reason for introducing the new number plates is to correct the lapses observed in the ones issued earlier, then it should be at no cost at all to those who already have genuine number plates.
IT is important for government at all levels to begin to take a second look at justice and equity when they impose all manner of levies and taxes on the citizenry. A seemingly blind drive for revenue generation without regard to its negative impacts on the social and economic well-being of the people is counterproductive. For instance, if the Lagos State government insists on the new rates applicable to commercial vehicles, it may get away with it, but the operators will surely pass the increase on to commuters and ordinary Nigerians thereby exacerbating their hardship. This is one negative, but perhaps unintended, consequence of the proposed vehicle registration number plates regime which could be foreseen and therefore avoided.
WE hope that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has put the implementation of its new number plates in abeyance, following the resolution of the House of Representatives ordering the agency to suspend its plan to introduce new number plates and vehicle registration fees. On the face of it, the intention of the FRSC seems noble as its implementation is likely to have salutary planning and security implications. Following the increasing use of vehicles to carry out terrorist activities in the country, it has become expedient to put a proper vehicle registration system in place to provide security audit trail and a reliable data base that could be used for planning purposes. But the fees being bandied by the FRSC are also outrageous and they tend to belie the purported objectives of the new vehicle registration system.
LIKE the Lagos State government, FRSC had also wanted existing owners of vehicles with number plates to replace them with the proposed new ones at the new rates. This is also wrong and does not appeal to reason. It is advised that if and when it is allowed to re-introduce the new registration system, the rates should be within the reach of ordinary Nigerians. Again the FRSC should not charge existing vehicle owners with genuine number plates for replacing the old plates with the new ones since they had already paid for the ones to be replaced.
IT is not very clear whether or not the House of Representatives’ resolution on the new vehicle registration system is binding on Lagos State. A review of the exclusive, concurrent, and residual lists in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) has provided no lucid and clear- cut position of the grundnorm on the matter. Nevertheless, the Lagos State government has indicated its intention not to respect the resolution of the lower house. And the Lagos State government would appear bent on executing its anti-people plan.
WE urge the state government to re-think its plan in the interest of ordinary Nigerians. This is not a matter over which the government at the centre and one of the federating units should flex muscles. It makes more sense for government at all levels to always reach a consensus on issues that touch the lives of Nigerians, especially the vulnerable ones. The new vehicle registration system, whether as being planned by the FRSC or the Lagos State government, should be reviewed because it is clearly anti-people.Share