And other well-meaning Nigerians wish to congratulate the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on the completion of the handshake between the Driver Licence portal and the DSSP portal.
As the National President of the Association of Driving Instructors of Nigeria (ADIN), I can authoritatively say that between the time the DSSP portal started running and February 2, 2017, when it was conjoined, not less than one million Driver licences were issued nationwide to the half-baked and those who don’t even know how to drive at all. These atrocities were made possible by some corrupt elements in FRSC who corruptly opened corrupt back doors to process licences for unqualified people thereby licensing killer drivers to operate on Nigerian roads for monetary gains.
We give God the glory that through the proactive efforts of the incorruptible and indefatigable Corps Marshal/Chief Executive of FRSC, the handshake is now in operation and reports have revealed that all the corrupt backdoors being used for the processing of Driver licence to unqualified people have been automatically closed through the completion of the handshake.
All would-be drivers must go through accredited Driving Schools to ensure they have the requisite knowledge and practical skills to drive safely on all roads before being issued the National Driver Licence.
Reports reaching me revealed that some state governments are complaining that the introduction of the FRSC portals and the new handshake will slow down the number of people being licensed and consequently the State revenues. This assertion is not correct because it is still the same number of people that want to obtain Driver licence in Nigeria this year that will still apply for it. The difference is that they are to be well spaced to ensure they are adequately trained before getting licensed to reduce the rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities in Nigeria.
Governments must not prioritise income generation above the safety of irreparable lives that their Excellencies, the President and Governors, have sworn to an oath to protect.
If the issuance of driver licence is to be seen as a revenue generation venture, countries, such as the United Kingdom (UK), will not be issuing a Driver Licence of 15 years.
The area where the UK is focusing attention upon for income generation is FINES for traffic offences, which also complements their efforts to reduce road accidents and fatalities.
Just as the FRSC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi has repeatedly said, all state governments should establish Traffic Management Agencies. With these agencies functioning effectively and incorruptibly, the state governments will be raking in great revenues from traffic offenders while also using the fines to reduce the rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities.
There is a need for the government officials to know how this system is working in countries with low rates of road accidents and deaths so that they can fully support the FRSC to make the new system work in Nigeria.
The FRSC chief has organised several stakeholders’ fora to enlighten us on the need to make the system work in Nigeria and achieve the desired results.
As a key player in the system, I hereby plead with all the governors, FRSC Officers, Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIS in Lagos State), state Boards of Internal Revenue Officers (MVAA in Lagos State), driving schools and other stakeholders to join hands to make the new Driver Licensing system succeed in Nigeria as in other countries that now have low rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities.3