Some residents of Abuja, the nation’s capital have expressed mixed feelings overthe introduction ofmandatory physicalcomputerized vehicle inspection scheme for motoring public, aimed at bolstering safety in the Territory.
While many residents viewed the initiative as a welcome development that would consolidate on efforts towards ensuring safety on FCT roads , others are pessimistic that the scheme may become another elephant project, as according to them, it appears that it is conceived primarily to exploit the motoring public.
They argued that the tendency of officials charged with implementing the scheme, rather than being focused on safety would prefer usingit as only instrument of money making for themselves, the government and a few rich ones in the Territory.
Meanwhile, many expressed concern that with designation of only two centres for the scheme, in the long run, the facilities may be lacking the capacity to effectively handle the volume of vehicle needing the service.
This, they say if not addressed could subject people to more hardships, thereby discouraging people from patronizing the scheme, and ultimately defeating the objective of the scheme.
It could be recalled that the procedure for ascertaining road worthiness of vehicles in Abuja, was introduced by the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Secretariat (DRTS) otherwise known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).
The initiative, which is being handled by private firm, Temple Resources Ltd (TRL) in partnership with the VIO, according to the directorate, is mandatory for all motorists in the FCT to periodically surrender their vehicles for testing at the facility, in order to get a road worthy certificate from the VIO.
A cross section of residents in separate interviews with Peoples Daily, expressed both joy and despair over the commencement of the scheme, however appealed to the relevant authorities to ensure the success of the scheme.
A resident, Akudo Adigwe, described the scheme as one of the many sustainable innovations of the FCT Administration, towards its quest to make Abuja, at par with other developed world cities.
She said the initiative was overdue in the FCT, as it is the standard of evaluating the health status of vehicles in developed societies, which FCT aspires to become.
“As an emerging world capital city, our government must ensure to bring our capital city at par with whatever standard that is obtainable in other modern cities.
“That’s why I think with introduction of the scheme, that the government is working in consonance with developmental trends in other places. This is good to know that it is indeed happening in my time,” she expressed.
Similarly, a motorist, Musa Abu, who described the scheme as a welcome development in the transportation sector in the FCT, as it will promote safety.
He says: “Although, it will mean paying more money for the same service, but because of its efficiency in spotting faults in cars, we will have more healthy cars playing our roads, resulting to less road crashes.
Not left out, a trader at Wuse market, Ugochukwu Aka, who expressed happiness over the development, called on motoring public to embrace the scheme, as is designed to protect their interest.
He however noted that there should be incentive package in place to encourage greater patronage from the stakeholders.
However, another resident, Abdullahi Sule, said the system only favours the rich and big business owners, whereas the majority of ordinary motoring public in the territory would be subjected to exploitation.
According to him, “The new scheme is adding more money to them, while ordinary customers are getting more sufferings as they earn nothing good from it.”
Similarly, one Mrs. Eniola Anka, who described the scheme as another money making machine in the hands of the government, said there was not even enough awareness about the scheme.
She therefore called on the relevant authorities to create awareness on the scheme, just as she warned against turning it into money spinning tool.
Peoples Daily recalls that at the moment there are two pioneer operating testing centres located along Kubwa expressway and Kugbo (Nyanya-Keffi expressway) respectively.
According to the VIO, corporate organisations, associations, unions and individual vehicle owners, whose vehicle particular expired at the endof Month of August, are advised to take such vehicle for computerizedvehicle testing service at the designated centres in the Territory.
Depending on the type of vehicle to be examined, the costing implications rang from N2, 250.00; N3, 500.00; N5, 000and N7, 000 respectively,for the motorists who would be accessingthe services provided at the centres.
Managing Director of TRL, Mr. Segun Obayendo, said vehicle owners having passed the testing process, will go to a VIOdesk at the facility, where they would be issued a road worthinesscertificate, as the company is DRTS to ascertain the road worthinessof vehicles in the FCT.