21st December, 2010
For too long in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, several motorists have fallen prey to the activities of touts who always want to help out in processingÂ vehicle documents, driversâ€™ license and other related documents.
By these acts, they extort money from motorists and connive with those in charge of vehicle documentation to issue out fake documents to the unsuspectingÂ public.
The Lagos State government has, therefore, came out with a scheme aimed at curbing the activities of touts in motor vehicle administration in the state, byÂ making some of them Clients Representatives, CR.
Through this, the Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, MVAA, an agency under the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, is providing the officialÂ recognition to individuals, who for decades had been playing the role of middlemen to corporate organisations and private persons in procuring vehicleÂ documentation-especially vehicle registration and renewal in the state for a fee.
At least, 121 CR were given certificates to begin operation at the weekend by Governor Babatunde Fashola who lauded the initiative of the MVAA to curbÂ touting in motor vehicle administration in the state.
â€œThese persons previously called â€˜agentsâ€™ by their clients and â€˜toutsâ€™ by members of the public are being christened today as Clients Representatives andÂ presented with the requisite official identification that would allow them to transact business with the MVAA and its partners on behalf of their clients.
â€œAs a matter of fact, unlicensed agents encourage touting and forgery of vehicle papers.Â The registration of these agents will enhance government effortsÂ and investments in vehicle and motoristsâ€™ safety as well as boost revenue generation,” said Fashola, whose speech was read by the Commissioner for CommerceÂ and Industry, Prince Niyi Oyemade.
â€œWe are encouraged in our decision by our discovery that some of these illegal operators are responsible university and polytechnic graduates or secondaryÂ school certificate holders from good homes but who resorted to the business to earn a living.
â€œGovernment then directed the management of the MVAA to identify and thoroughly screen those that demonstrated knowledge of vehicle registration and areÂ interested in operating under the ambit of the law,â€ he added.
The governor stated that the screening included and involved the review of their bio-data, oral interviews and security clearance by security agencies suchÂ as the State Security Services, SSS. Those who scaled the hurdle were made CR, issued with identity cards and given the mandate to engage in defined vehicleÂ documentation activities on behalf of their clients only.
Fashola said that, not withstanding the introduction of the CR scheme, members of the public could still procure vehicle documents directly from the MVAA,Â clarifying that the CR were not employees of the state government.
â€œIt is important that you conduct your businesses henceforth with utmost sincerity and hope that you will not betray the trust and confidence reposed in youÂ by the government,â€ he stated.