Crisis is brewing between commercial transporters in the country and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) as the commission has been alleged to be planning to rip them off with the allegedly planned introduction of speed limiter technology on commercial vehicles with effect from September 1 this year.
A document, which was exclusively obtained by Vanguard last night, indicated that the FRSC is working with a private Nigerian firm to enforce the controversial deal, which would require each vehicle owner to buy the device for N35,000 and pay additional N1,000 for installation.
The transporters argued that with each of the 25 million vehicles in Nigeria paying N36,000 to the FRSC, it would rake in at least N900 billion from innocent Nigerians for a technology that would not add value to their lives. They have, therefore, written a protest letter to the FRSC, warning the commission to desist from going ahead with the project, as it would endanger the lives of vehicle owners rather than protect them.
The road transporters writing under the aegis of International Human Rights and Anti-corruption Society gave the FRSC one month with effect from August 17, 2015 to publicly declare the discontinuation of the device or face a court action.
In the letter addressed to the Corps Marshal of the FRSC, and signed by the Director General, Dr. U.O. Udofia and Secretary General, Barrister E.A. Egbebu, the group also drew the attention of the commission to the fact that it lacks the power to introduce the said device under the Section 10 (3) of the FRSC Act of 2007.
It advised instead, that the FRSC should adopt and use the world acclaimed Spider Technology that comes with a 3-in-one high definition camera with long range monitoring of highways to capture over-speeding vehicles.
They complained that while the Spider technology was being used globally it was wrong for the FRSC to contemplate installing speed limiter on vehicles so that they do not run beyond the fixed limit even when pursued by armed robbers, kidnappers, hired killers and car snatchers.
“Speed limiter in all developed and African countries had been banned. Again speed limiter device had been discovered to expose motorists to danger such as armed robbery, car snatchers, hired killers and kidnappers.
“Therefore, in a country like Nigeria where there is serious prevalence of insecurity, the installation of speed limiter in vehicles would be counterproductive and self-defeating,” the transporters said.
In its response, the Federal Road Safety Commission insisted that the speed limiter will be enforced by the commission with effect from tomorrow.
The FRSC spokesman, Mr. Imoh Etuk, said that although it was not the marketer of the product, it would, however, enforce it as agreed by all the transport stakeholders in the country.
“Suffice it to say that the FRSC does not market the product but it will see to the enforcement as agreed by all stakeholders,” Vanguard quoted Etuk to have said in a text message.