The Lagos Sector Commander of Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr Nseobong Akpabio on Wednesday in Lagos said the era of obtaining drivers licences and vehicle plate numbers via the back door, is over.
He said intending applicants for the two products should go through the right channels to procure them to avoid fakes.
“Gone were the days of getting the drivers licence and number plates by proxy or through short cuts.
“Our new machines nationwide do not accept passport photographs for capturing, except the physical appearance of the applicant,” Akpabio said.
He advised the applicants not to patronize touts or give money to any officer to help in procuring the products as it would be fakes.
He also said that any FRSC official caught aiding such illegality would be in deep trouble. Akpabio said that applicants might fill the form online through www.nigeriadrivers license.org or visit the nearest FRSC drivers license centre, Vehicle Inspection Office or the State Board of Internal Revenue.
The FRSC boss said that old driver’s license and number plates would become invalid as from 30 September.
“All old driver’s license and number plates cease to be valid after the 30 September 2013,” says the FRSC big wig.
He said that the new license and number plates would create a central databank where correct information of a vehicle and the owner could be got at any time.
According to NAN, on Monday, the Lagos Sector Command of the FRSC flagged off the new commercial driver’s licence-class ‘E’- at the Ikotun Motor Park.
Akpabio told the audience that the class ‘E’ licence was introduced to eradicate quack drivers, and achieving the aim of reducing road crashes by 50 per cent.
“The class ‘E’ driver’s licence was introduced to know the professional drivers from the unqualified and inexperienced.
“Some accidents on the road are usually caused by unqualified drivers and with the introduction of the new class ‘E’ driver’s licence, this will be reduced,” he said.
The Sector Commander said that photocopy of the new drivers licence would not be accepted on demand, because “it is like the currency whereby the original cannot be at home and the photocopy accepted for transaction.
“It is illegal to present photocopy of your licence and keep the original at home for nobody can go to the market with the photocopy of our currency.”
He condemned night travelling, saying that in the case of any eventuality, there might not be quick response.
He emphasized the use of seat belts as they help in case of crashes.
The Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) , Mr Tajudeen Agbede, told the launch that the Union would collaborate with the FRSC in obtaining the new drivers licence easily.
“We are ready to parley with the FRSC to work out arrangements that would ensure that our members do not suffer before they get the new drivers licence,” Agbede said.
He advised his members not to patronize touts as they might end up getting fake licences that would put them in trouble.
Agbede appealed to the FRSC not to relent in its effort on public education to the drivers, rather than strict enforcement.
“Public education is the surest way to curb road accidents. Enforcement will only give temporary pain, but message and information can be gathered during public campaigns and this will always be in the memory of drivers,” Agbede said.