LAGOS – The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Sector, on Saturday frowned at a statement credited to the State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, that the corps’ driver’s licence was fake.
The Sector Commander, Mr Chidi Nkwonta, described the statement as unfortunate and capable of misleading the public.
Opeifa, in a swift reaction, had denied the statement he called a gross misrepresentation.
Nkwonta said the FRSC did not issue any driver’s licence, but only designed and produced the licence which the state issued through its agents.
“That the FRSC is responsible for the delay in the production of driver’s licences in the state is not correct.
“ The comment that every licence issued by the corps is fake is also misleading because we do not issue licences,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
According to Nkwonta, applicants after being tested and certified by state agencies such as the Motor Vehicle Administration Agency and Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) will proceed to FRSC for physical capturing and biometrics.
The FRSC boss, however, said that the corps was committed to serving Nigerians to deliver on the new driver’s licence.
He said the scheme was recording “a great deal of success’’ as the corps had overcome the challenges of frequent system breakdown and shortage of data capturing machines.
But Opeifa said the national driver’s licence was an arrangement between the FRSC and two agencies in the state.
Opeifa, who spoke through the ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Sina Thorpe, told NAN that any applicant who started and ended licence processes at FRSC office would automatically possess fake licences.
He advised that applicants after the MVAA and VIS process should proceed to FRSC for physical capture and biometrics.
“I did not say that any licence issued by FRSC is fake.
“All l said was that applicants, who collected their forms and processed directly at any FRSC office without going through the state agencies, will be against the acceptable procedure.
“Driver’s licence application is through the MVAA office only; the fake driver’s licence was only possible during the old platform.
“This is what necessitated the introduction of the New Unified Driver’s Licence Scheme.
“The licence will be fake as long as it is not processed through the state because FRSC cannot initiate, not to talk of wholly issuing driver’s licence,’’ Opeifa said.
Opeifa added that the scheme, which commenced in June 2012, faced several challenges, but that it had stabilised through the collaboration of both the FRSC and the state.
He disclosed that the operating stations had been increased from six to 18 to bring the service closer to applicants. (NAN)