FRSC, VIOs disagree over issuance of licence to commercial cyclists in Cross River
The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and National Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation are at war over who to issue riders’ permit to commercial cyclists (tricycle and motorcycle).
National Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation, also known as Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), had after its emergency meeting resolved to issue riders’ permit to commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders to effectively regulate their activities across the states and FCT.
But reacting to the ugly development, National Chairman of VIOs, Mr. Paul Bepeh, in a statement yesterday in Calabar, said that the FRSC does not have the powers to stop VIOs from carrying out their constitutional roles of regulating transport businesses across states.
Bepeh described the action of FRSC to be unconstitutional and counter-productive.
The statement read in part, “It is equally important to say that the tripartite arrangement that brought FRSC into production of drivers’ license in conjunction with the states has not in any way undermined the statutory right of the states of the federation and the FCT to control and regulate transportation businesses in their respective domains.
“It should also be noted that while the use of tricycle and motorcycle are not particularly allowed for public transportation purposes by Nigerian Road Traffic Act CAP 548LFN, exigencies and reality of present developmental situations in many states have necessitated their usage for human and goods transportation.
“It is, therefore, expected that their activities should be effectively regulated to lower the identified challenges across the states and FCT. This is the genesis of riders’ permit. It is, therefore, necessary to urge members of the public not to be confused.”
Also reacting, the FRSC in a statement signed by the Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, said: “Owing to the growing rate at which tricycle and motorcycle operators mistake riders permit issued in their respective states for the National Drivers Licence (NDL), the Federal Road Safety Commission has clarified that they are two different documents and permit can never be used in the place of the National Drivers’ Licence.
“All over the world, drivers’ licence is the only document that gives a trained, qualified and certified driver the right to drive on the road and Nigeria, having successfully acceded to the six United Nations (UN) conventions, cannot operate in contrast to global best practice in that regard.
“The idea behind National Drivers Licence is to ensure that every driver on the road have their information captured in the database for the enhancement of security of all road users and for intelligence gathering among the law enforcement agencies. The relevance of the document as a means of identification cannot be over-emphasised.
“The Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, wishes to caution all operators who patronise drivers permit as an alternative for the National Drivers Licence to desist from such henceforth to avoid arrest and penalties.
“This platform is to sensitise all motorcycle and tricycle operators who hitherto did not know the difference between the National Drivers License and the Riders Permit to ensure that they go ahead to procure their licences as violators will be penalised.”
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