Judex Okoro, Calabar
There is a cold war brewing between the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and the National Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation over the Riders’ Permits to commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders.
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’ permits to commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders to effectively regulate their activities across the states and the FCT.
But the FRSC frowns at such a move, cautioning commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders to stop obtaining any form of permits form the VIOs. The FRSC adds that it their duty to issue licenses across boards.
Reacting to the development, National Secretary of National Conference of Directors/Chief Road Traffic Officers of the Federation (VIOs), Durojaye Babawale Olalekan, in a statement issued in Calabar on behalf of the National Chairman, Engr Paul Bepeh, insisted that the FRSC does not have the powers to stop the VIOs from carrying out their constitutional roles of regulating the way transport businesses are being carried out in their respective states.
The VIOs expressed dismay at the posture of the FRSC, saying that it is wrong for an agency of government to go public to castigate efforts of states of the Federation and the FCT without seeking clarifications, especially on issues of traffic regulation.
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 domain.
“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.”
The Chief Road Traffic Officers described the action of the FRSC as unconstitutional and counterproductive, adding that the issuance of riders’ permit would go a long way to address some security and safety challenges associated with the use of motorcycle and tricycle for conveyance of human and goods.