The Senate in Abuja on Wednesday urged the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) to immediately suspend the issuance of the new driver’s licences and vehicle number plates.
It also mandated its Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to conduct a public hearing on the new schemes.
These resolutions followed a motion moved by Dahiru Kuta (PDP-Niger) who noted that the FRSC was set up by law, primarily to ensure safety on the highways.
He condemned the new costs of the licences and the number plates introduced by the FRSC in 2011.
Mr. Kuta observed that the commission had embarked on frequent and arbitrary introduction and reintroduction of number plates and driver’s licences.
“The commission was not established principally as a revenue generating agency for the State and the Federal Governments.
“Majority of Nigerians are financially impoverished and find the amount exploitative and insensitive.”
Barnabas Gemade (PDP- Benue) urged the Senate to pass the resolution in order to make the FRSC to stop meddling into the functions of other government agencies.
“The FRSC is not discharging its responsibility of ensuring safety on the highways but is going into revenue generation when we had already established several revenue generating agencies.
“We have to pass this motion in order to make them focus on their responsibility and leave issuance of licences and number plates to the VIO.”
Smart Adeyemi (PDP-Kogi) accused the FRSC of trying to make other agencies redundant by taking over their duties in the bid to raise funds for itself.
He suggested that the Senate should go beyond passage of the resolution by addressing the overlapping functions of many agencies.
“What the FRSC is trying to do is to render other agencies redundant. Their issuance of licences is against the law.
“There is the need to also use this motion to address some of the overlapping functions of some agencies.’’
George Akume (ACN-Benue) said the Federal Government should give Nigerians some respite from the prevailing economic hardship caused by increase in price of petrol.
“The fuel subsidy matter has increased prices already and someone is now hiding under security challenge to inflict more hardships on the people.
“If they are having funding challenge, they should come to National Assembly for more appropriation. Let it be suspended so that people can manage to put fuel in their cars for now.’’
Ali Ndume (PDP-Borno) suggested that the name of the commission should be changed so that it could focus on its core responsibility.
“It is wrong that while Nigerians are struggling to survive, federal agencies are bringing what would further drain the pockets of the citizens.
“Perhaps their name should be changed to Federal Highways Commission so that they can focus on what they are supposed to do, which is ensuring maximum safety on the highways.’’
Senate President David Mark said the FRSC must not impose any more financial burden on the already impoverished citizens under any guise.
“Let them not impose additional costs on the people because their function does not include revenue generation.
“Nobody is saying they should not do their work but why should revenue generation become their responsibility?”