From FRED ITUA, Abuja
Motor Vehicle Network International, an automobile security engineering firm, has taken a matter of theft against the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to the Senate.
The firm which is demanding N5 billion compensation, claimed that the Vehicle Registration System of the NCS is “an adulterated version” of its intellectual property it tagged “Vehicle Duty Smart Card (VDC) and Vin data revalidation programme”.
Group Managing Director of the firm, Mohammed Kabir Usman, in the petition obtained by Daily Sun, said the proposed platforms were first submitted to the management of NCS and the Federal Ministry of Finance in 2005/2006 and re-submitted to the Col. Hameed Ali-led NCS on September 2, 2015.
Usman said the platforms were designed and developed with the intent to jointly implement an electrically secured database of motor vehicle duty administration network essentially to improve vehicular data management, increased data accuracy and ease of data retrieval for security and planning reference.
He said that it was designed for the NCS to work in partnership with states Vehicle Inspection Office, Motor Licensing Authority, Nigeria Police Force, Joint Tax Board, Federal Road Safety Commission and National Insurance Commission.
The firm urged the Senate through its Committee on Customs and Excise to immediately call the authorities of the NCS to order.
The Senate, it said, should mandate the NCS to “revert to the original platform of Vehicle Duty Smart Card (VDC) and VIN data revalidation programme as designed by the firm.
Usman said that he believed that the Customs boss was misled on the vehicles duty policy hence he decided to speak out.
He said attached several communications between his firm and the Federal Ministry of Finance on one hand and communications between his firm and the NCS to buttress the fact that the idea behind the programme belongs to him.
In another letter by its solicitors, the firm is asking for the payment of N5 billion as compensation from the NCS for implementing its intellectual work without carrying it along.
Abbas Yahaya & Associates who wrote on behalf of the firm asked the NCS to pay their client the sum of N5 billion for “the implementation of the programme using our client’s intellectual property implementing motor vehicle duty online control system.”
It said that several documents available showed that their client had made several presentations, delivered lectures and showcased their intellectual properties, expertise, skill and experience to the NCS and also tutored officers and men of the NCS on how to implement the programmes.
“Our client and NCS agreed on public private partnership and suggested orally that when the programmes are finally implemented, the NCS will take 70 per cent of the accrued income generated while our client takes 30 per cent,” it said.
It said that it is expected that the implementation of the programmes, “designed and developed by our client will eventually generate over N58 billion only per annum that will last for five years.”
It said that their client was surprised to see advertisements purporting to implement the programme by the Federal Government of Nigeria on March 13, 2017 with the consent, authority and approval of the designer firm.
Spokesman of Customs, Mr Joseph Atta, did not respond to a text message sent to his active mobile phone number. He did not answer the phone calls either.