MOTORISTS have decried the Federal Government’s new policy on obtaining driver’s licence and vehicle plate number.
Some vehicle owners who spoke with Prime Business Africa, expressed dissatisfaction over the development.
According to Human Rights Activist and Social Commentator, Achike Chude, the upward review of the rates will add to the discomfort of Nigerians who are already struggling to survive amid economic uncertainties.
He said, “The pump price of fuel keeps going up; electricity bill keeps increasing per month. Now it is driver’s licence and plate number. Should people stop buying new cars so that we won’t need plate number or have to apply for driver’s licence?
“Sadly, the income we make does not increase like every other thing. It took recurring strike action for the government to accept to pay minimum wage which some states are yet to start paying but outrageous increments can be swiftly approved by both federal and state government.”
A motorist, Richard Ikhaduwor, described the policy as unsettling.
Another motorist, who simply gave his name as Tope, said “our government can just choose to introduce one draconian law, they don’t care if it favours the citizens or not.”
Following the new rates designed by the Joint Tax Board, Nigerians now have to pay N18,750 for standard private and commercial number plates against the old rate of N12,500.
Fancy number plate which was N80,000 is now N200,000; motorcycle number plate is N5,000 from N3,000 while articulated number plates (three plates) attract N30,000 from N20,000. For these rates, the minimum increase is 50%.
Out of series number plate has also been revised to N50,000 from N40,000 while government fancy number plate is N20,000 against the former N15,000 rate.
Also, driver’s licence (three years) was raised to N10,000 from N6,000, excluding bank charges; licence for five years is N15,000 from N10,000 while motorcycle/tricycle driving licence (three years) goes for N5,000 from N3,000 while the one for five years attracts N8,000 from N5,000.
A vehicle owner, Abiodun Olakunri, said the government may have a reason for increasing rate but the timing was not right.
“The question is, were we put into consideration before these decisions were made? We know that when the funds are not stolen they (the government) have lofty plans for the country but then they should take it a step at a time,” he said.
Another motorist, Peter Omogbehin, said the new policy was not well planned.
“People are suffering and the government is adding to the problems instead of alleviating it. We are already being extorted by those at the licensing office, this increment will worsen the situation,” he said.