Some motorists have appealed to Lagos State Motor Licensing Office to ensure a public display of fees payable for renewal of vehicle particulars at the different centres across the state to curb sharp practices.
The motorists, especially those processing Vehicles Road Worthiness Certificate (VRWC), made the appeal at some of the licencing offices in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
They said that a public display of the fees being charged to process each of the particulars would promote transparency and save unsuspecting vehicle owners from being swindled by either fraudulent officials or their agents.
Speaking to NAN, Mr James Adedokun a motorist, who wanted to renew his vehicle roadworthiness particular at the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) Office in Ojodu, said he paid N5,500 for a Sienna car.
Adedokun said: “I paid 5,500 for the roadworthiness certificate of my vehicle. That is the rate I was told here, but if you get to another centre, you might get it at a different rate.
” Though we don’t have anywhere in some of these centres where the rates are publicly displayed for all to see. What you just hear the officers attending to you say is that you have to pay so-and-so amount.
“I think we need to work more on transparency. Sharp practices happen in most institutions. Some bad elements usually take advantage of applicants through touting.”
Another motorist, who simply identified himself as Udom and wanted to renew the particulars of his saloon car, told NAN at one of the Licensing Centre situated at Anthony, that he was told the fee was N5, 400.
“I thought that issuance of road worthiness certificate should not cost more than, N5,000, but this is Nigeria,” Udom said.
Another applicant, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, at the Licencing Office situated at Iponri, said he was made to pay N5,300 for the renewal of the same particular for his car.
The applicant said he had been told to bring N5,600 at another centre before he chose to come to Iponri for the renewal of the same document.
“I think something is wrong somewhere, we cannot have different rates for the same document in the same state.
“I think the authority should have publicly displayed these charges for all to see. This will minimise touting and extortion of vehicle owners.
” I have to leave where they told me it was N5,600 for Iponri here. In fact, I did know the charge would even be up to N5,000,” he said.
A NAN correspondent who visited the VIS headquarters office at Ojodu, and that of Iponri observed that the rates for each of the vehicle documents were not displayed.
However, an official of the VIS who spoke to NAN on the condition of anonymity said that if applicants should bring their vehicles for inspection, they would have to pay more than N4,800 to obtain a road worthiness certificate for a Sienna car.
NAN investigations showed that the standard renewal fees for vehicle particulars in Nigeria are: N2,500 for vehicle licence, N4,450 for road worthiness and N5,000 for insurance policy, totalling N11,950 for standard vehicle particulars renewal.
The renewal of particulars for saloon cars with engine size above 2.5cc are: N3,000 for vehicle licence, N5,200 for road worthiness certificate and N5, 000 for Insurance policy; totalling N13,200.
NAN also gathered that to renew particulars of Sports Utility Vehicles( SUVs) with engine size above 3.6cc, the rates are: N3,700 for vehicle licence, N5,200 for Roadworthiness and N5,000 for Insurance policy totalling N13,900.
Mr George Fashola, the Director of the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS,)Lagos State, however, said that there was no disparity in the fees payable at the different centres, saying that applicants should report any case of cost disparity to his office.
According to him, “There is no price disparity in charges for Road Worthiness as there is a uniform charge throughout the State. Please report any office engaging in that practice.
“The charges and rates are always displayed at the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) offices and also at our Lagos Computer Vehicle Inspection Service (LACVIS) centres ; but if it is missing, then it is a matter that needs to addressed, ” he said.