The National Chairman, National Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers, (VIOs) of the federation, Reverend Bayo Otuyemi has described the production and issuance of vehicle number plates and drivers license by the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) as incursion into the motor vehicle administration which is completely illegal.
Otuyemi who is also the Ogun State Chief Traffic Officer in a statement by the spokesman Ministry Of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ayokule Ewuoso therefore called on the state governments that are yet to establish the Directorate Of Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), which would comprise of Vehicle Inspection Officers and the licensing officers to do so in order to take charge of all vehicle related matters including revenue.
He stated that the acts being perpetuated by the FRSC contravened the 1999 constitution of the Federal Government which gave such residual powers to the State Governments.
“I want to say that motor vehicle administration is a residual matter under the 1999 constitution, which means that only the State Houses of Assembly have the power to legislate on it. This means that state governments according the law should be fully in charge of MVA and not any federal government agency. In developed countries each state has its drivers’ license, they have their ways of registering their vehicles and in some countries if you want to relocate from one state to another, you will have to re-register your vehicle, so the issue of MVA is the responsibilities of the states all over the world.
“But the FRSC came into the scene in Nigeria and started talking about uniformity just to usurp the responsibilities of the states which should not be so because it is clearly stated in the 1999 constitution that MVA is a residual functions which fall on the laps of the states government. Management of traffic on the roads, money raised from the penalties that are being collected on the roads, production and issuance of drivers’ license and number plates fall under the residual functions.”
Otuyemi pointed out that FRSC according to the constitution is restricted to operate only on federal truck roads located in each of the states adding that stakeholders in the management of MVA have began to look into how the problem could be solved.
He advised states government to initiate the process of reforming their MVA agencies through legislation, institutionalized restructuring, recruitment and training, start investing on the equipment needed for effective performance noting that they should equally explore and seek for proper interpretation from the law court on the residual issue as it concerns the MVA.
By Pita Ochai