The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), an agency established to eradicate road traffic crashes and create a safe motoring environment in Nigeria, and its sister agency, Directorate Of Road Traffic Services popularly known as VIO which has motor vehicle administration as its core mandate has been caught in the act of wrongly registering cars while forcing the owners to pay penalty.
Some of the victims, narrated to MAWA Foundation, how they were forced to buy a new car number plate by the VIO officers who arrested them for incorrect registration.
Mr. Shola, who prefers only his first name, mentioned narrated to MAWA Foundation how he was arrested by VIO and was forced to pay the sum of N37, 000 for a new plate number by the officials who accused him of owning a stolen car.
Shola, while narrating the incident to MAWA Foundation, said he bought a Toyota Camry Car and registered it in 2010. But rather, the VIO working with Road Safety to do the right thing, they registered his Car as a Honda Brand instead of Toyota.
He, however, explained, he was arrested by the VIO officials at the Abuja Central Area, after checking his car particulars, one of the officials checked in their database and discovered his car is registered as Honda instead of Toyota. He explained that as soon as the discovery was made, the VIO officials entered his car, forced him to their office at Mabutchi, where they deflated all his tyres, and accused him of using a stolen car.
Mr. Shola, having had his tyres deflated, went to his Gwarimpa residence, picked all his car papers, and went to the VIO office where he identified an officer who helped him in registering his car and threatened to get him arrested with the police.
The officers having realized that Shola won’t bulge, collected his car papers, checked, and found out that his car is genuine and that the mistake came from them. They, however, told him the only option is for him to buy a new plate number, a suggestion they forced him to buy N37k new plate number.
He, however, told MAWA Foundation that after the experience, they decided to check three cars in their house, and unfortunately, three of them were wrongly registered while the database shows plate number valid but not yet assigned. And this is even as he said they have registered the cars and have been using them for over five years.
A MAWA Foundation staff, having listened to Shola’s story, decided to check the correctness of his car registration using the FRSC portal. He, however, found that his car was wrongly registered with the plate number showing valid but not yet assigned.
Mr. Williams Zangi, told MAWA Foundation that he ran checks on 10 cars, and out of them, only two were properly registered while the rest shows plate number valid but not yet assigned and others allocated to different vehicles that are not theirs.
Zangi, told MAWA Foundation, that check on a brand new 2010 Toyota Camry car his sister purchased and was registered in 2018 showed, in the FRSC database, the car was registered as Honda Accord.
Mr. Isaac Amedu, narrated to MAWA Foundation how he reported the wrong registration of his car to a Road Safety official, who collected the sum of N5, 500 to help correct the error in the database.
When MAWA Foundation, sought the explanation of FRSC, an official whose contact was gotten from their official website, said he was in a management meeting and cannot respond to the issue.