By Theodore Opara
The Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, ALBON, has appealed to the Federal and state governments to harmonise and streamline the on-going issuance of vehicle number plates with the proposed introduction of biometric motor registration by the Nigeria Police Force.
According to a statement by president of the association, Sir Dan Okemuo, the new BMCR by the police is a replication of existing ones by other government agencies. They argued that their appeal was based on the fact that it would appear that the new vehicle number plates currently being issued by the FRSC in conjunctions with the various state governments has similar security features with the BMCR vehicle registration being proposed by the Nigeria Police.
That being the case, it would amount to double jeopardy to subject motorists to two similar exercises from two federal government agencies (FRSC and the Police) in a bid to register a vehicle.
It also stated that the official cost of procuring the new vehicle number plate currently on issue by the FRSC in conjunction with the various state governments is N15,000; while the official cost of obtaining the BMCR registration being proposed by the police is N3,500.
When the two figures are added up, the cost of registering just one vehicle will be too high and out of reach for an average motorist. As such, it makes no economic sense to subject motorists to pay double price for two similar exercises that could well be harmonized and co-ordinated not only for better vehicle administration and security enhancement, but for better cost efficiency.
ALBON further noted that the strongest argument for introducing the new vehicle number plate and the proposed BCMR (by both the FRSC and the police) was that it would enhance national security, especially in the face of numerous security challenges confronting the nation.
Accordingly, if both exercises are designed to enhance national security and better vehicle administration in the country, nothing stops the two federal government agencies (FRSC and the Police) from harmonizing their efforts and sharing data collected and stored by one of them, instead of subjecting motorists to agonizing period of having to register the same vehicle from two federal government agencies.
“To address the confusion and anomaly currently surrounding the new vehicle number plates registration by the FRSC and the proposed BMCR registration by the police, the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, ALBON, calls on the Federal Government to harmonize the new vehicle number plate registration by the FRSC with the proposed BMCR registration by the Police,” it said.
Pending such harmonisation, the association appeals to federal government to suspend the current issuance of new number plate and the proposed BMCR registration of all vehicles in Nigeria by the Nigeria Police in the overall interest of our national security and all motorists in Nigeria.