New number plates: defaulting motorists to be apprehended after Sept. 30 deadline

By The Rainbow

Motor vehicle owners who are yet to comply with the Federal Government's directive on new registration numbers have barely one month to comply or face the wrath of the law, THE RAINBOW authoritatively learnt.

Different deadlines have been bandied about by people as the deadline for every vehicle bearing old registration numbers to transit to the new ones.

The new number plate which was introduced in 2010 is being touted by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) as targeted at minimizing crime as it would link the vehicle to its owner.

Towards the end of 2012, many vehicle owners rushed to change their vehicle registration numbers on the misinformation that the deadline was December 2012.

'In fact, many vehicle owners had complied with the change in plate numbers as at January 2013 but there was a drastic slow down in the number of people showing up to change their plate numbers from January till date. This is because people discovered that the deadline was not coming up immediately,' an official of the Lagos State vehicle Registration Centre, Alaka, told our correspondent in confidence.

THE RAINBOW learnt that many people are still unaware of impending deadline, an indication that the FRSC has been deficient in publicizing the deadline.

After the anxiety about the December 2012 which turned out to be false, the rumour mill shifted the deadline to August.

To make the situation really bad, even workers at Motor Vehicle Licensing offices across the country appeared uninformed about the actual date of the deadline for the transition.

Our correspondent learnt that even up till date, many workers in the registration offices do not know the actual date of the deadline.

The confusion about the deadline might not be unconnected with the initial query raised by the Senate about the scheme.

The legislative chamber late granted approval but requested the extension of the deadline from August 2012 to February 2013.

The cost of standard motor vehicle plate numbers was reduced from N15, 000 to N8, 400 and driver's licence from N6, 000 to N4, 000.

Those of articulated vehicles will now cost N11, 200 instead of the N20, 000 as stipulated by the FRSC while privileged numbers and fancy or personalised numbers were left as recommended by the FRSC.

However, dealer number plates which cost N30, 000 before now was slashed to N16, 800.

It was the initial August 2012 deadline that made people to confuse the deadline. They thought that it was deadline 2013.

However, the FRSC Zonal Commander for Lagos Zone Nsebong Charles Akpabio confirmed to THE RAINBOW the September 30 deadline.

He said that it had always been September 30 and that there had been no doublespeak about the date. According to him, the commission will apply the full weight of law to defaulters from October 1, 2013.