The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Wednesday said it produced and dispatched 698,252 driver’s licences between January and July nationwide.
Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, disclosed this at a one-day workshop for Sector Heads of FRSC driver’s licence centres in Abuja.
Oyeyemi said that out of the total, 219,252 licences, representing 31 per cent, had not been claimed by their owners.
The development, he stated, was a major impediment to efforts by the Corps to ensure efficiency in the production and distribution of licences across the country.
“FRSC has achieved improved production capacity whereby permanent licences are produced in less than 60 days of capturing.
“But, owners have developed the attitude of not turning up promptly to collect their produced licences, thereby creating a large number of unclaimed licenses,” he said.
The corps marshal also blamed state Boards of Internal Revenue for failing to distribute the licences after production by the FRSC as agreed in a tripartite arrangement.
According to him, some state governments have refused to provide befitting offices, security and electricity supply to facilitate the distribution of the licences.
He also identified inadequate testing of drivers by some Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) as another setback in the driver’s licensing process.
Reacting to a recent media report that exposed massive fraud in the driver’s licence issuance process, Oyeyemi said the Corps must rise up to the occasion and close all loopholes.
The report revealed how driving school operators allegedly collude with some officials of FRSC and state traffic management agencies to undermine the driver’s licensing process.
The FRSC boss said the Corps must return to the drawing board and carry out a total restructuring of the Driving School Standardisation Programme (DSSP).
At a meeting with driving school operators in Owerri on Monday, Oyeyemi had issued a 60-day ultimate for them to fully comply with the standards set in the DSSP or risk closure.
Reiterating the deadline at Wednesday’s forum, he directed relevant officers of the Corps to ensure strict enforcement of the ultimatum.
Oyeyemi warned officers and men of the Corps against driver’s licence racketeering, emphasising that anyone found wanting would be dismissed and prosecuted.
The corps marshal also frowned at the attitude of driver’s licence applicants who induced the driving school operators and FRSC officials to compromise the process.
“Nigerians should stop undermining government policies; you paid for driving school training, but did not attend, only to show up after 30 days to collect the certificate.
“That is crass irresponsibility, and you want to kill yourself and other road users, but FRSC is saying ‘no!’
“The driving schools must have integrity and a sense of responsibility; they must be loyal to the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
Oyeyemi stated that driving school operators must appreciate the opportunities the government had created for them by stripping the FRSC of the powers to run driving schools.
He said if they continued to abuse the opportunity, then more state governments have to come in to set up model driving schools as being done by the Bayelsa Government.