The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) on Wednesday in Abuja said it had stopped the renewal of document of vehicles with old number plates.
Public Relations Officer of the Office, Mr Kalu Emetu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the VIO halted the renewal of the papers because the old number plates were not captured in the national data bank.
“We have officially stopped the renewal of the old number plate so as to gradually phase it out of the market.
“This is because the old number plate currently poses a lot of security challenges, because it is not captured in the national data bank.
“For instance, if anything happens to your vehicle, it will be difficult to trace.
“Also, if anyone uses a vehicle that carries the old plate number to commit any criminal act, it will be difficult to trace it to the individual.
“Hence, the reason government sees the need for all citizens nationwide, to change to the new number plate,” he said.
The spokesman, however, said that while the issue of compliance with adoption of new number plate was still awaiting approval by the National Assembly, it was an acceptable regulation, which some states had started to comply with.
“Though, the National Assembly has intervened and said it would not impose on people to change their number plates, with all these challenges mentioned earlier, one can clearly see the need for the directive to be enforced.
“The advantages of purchasing the new number plates completely outweighs the disadvantages as the disadvantage is the amount of money an individual would pay in revalidating to the new regime,” he said.
New number plate for vehicles in Nigeria was introduced in the last quarter of 2011 by Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), with a directive that old number plates be phased out in August 2012.
The corps also introduced a new driver’s licence during the said period.
The new number plates, launched by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, was designed to go along with a data base of vehicles and help in strengthening security in the country.
However, responding to public outcry over the cost and non-availability of the number plates, the House of Representatives in 2011, approved the stoppage of issuance of the new plates, pending investigation into the matter.