Yomi Bamgbose’s Article on Driver’s License in Nigeria..

Culled from the Nigerian Guardian Newspaper. 18/3/2008.

This is an article from the Guardian Newspaper written by Yomi Bamgbose.

FRSC and driver’s licence

Also pasted here:

THIS is in response to a statement made recently by the Chief Executive and Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) which was published in The Guardian of January 9, 2008, page 3 wherein he said “The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has concluded plans so prosecute over “100” of its staff for allegedly defrauding various state governments through the printing of fake Drivers’ Licences across the country…”

There has been a raging controversy for some time now on which agency of government is responsible for the issuance of Driver’s Licence in this country, Nigeria. The controversy has, however, reached a point where Nigerians have to be told what they probably do not know about this issue.

Driver’s Licence falls under “Motor Vehicle Administration as a Residual issue under The 1999 Nigerian Constitution”. A relevant definitional point that ought to be addressed first in this context is – what Motor Vehicle Administration is.

Motor Vehicle Administration is a composite process and revolves around the management and the control of Motor Licensing operations including driving and other related licences which include the following matters:-

1. Issuance and Renewal of:

Motor Vehicle Licences

Local Driving Licence

Learner’s Permit

Certificate of Roadworthiness
2. Registration of Vehicle

3. Preparation and Keeping of Statutory Registers of all licences issued.

4. Collection of fees emanating from its operations and payment of same into the appropriate sub-head of the state governments’ accounts.

To the main issue of Fake Driver’s Licence: The FRSC has failed to educate Nigerians on how prospective applicant drivers can obtain a “Genuine Driver’s Licence”. All what they are saying is that once you obtain your forms from the Board Of Internal Revenue of the State concerned, the forms will be forwarded to the FRSC for the printing of the Driver’s Licence, just like that.

The question arises here: Why is it that the VIOs in the State Ministry of Works/Transport nationwide that are charged with the responsibility of testing of prospective drivers and the Issuance of Certificate of Competence are deliberately not mentioned by the FRSC?

Today in Nigeria, three agencies are involved in the processing of Driver’s Licences – namely
(I) The State Board of Internal Revenue (ii) FCT/State VIOs and (iii) The FRSC.

Their statutory responsibility under the law is as follows:: –

The Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) collects monies and issues Learner’s Permit; RS Form NDL – 18 N and receipts to candidates who wish to obtain a Driver’s Licence.

The VIO in the State Ministry of Works/Transport including FCT conducts oral test on Highway Code and Practical Driving Test for prospective drivers. Thereafter, the VIO endorses the Learner’s Permit and the RS Form NDL – 18 N. He also takes the personal data, passport photograph and the “finger print” of the would-be driver. The VIO finally issues a Driving Test Report and Certificate of Competence to the successful candidate. He recommends the “Class/Group” of Driver’s Licence for the category of vehicle to be handled by the driver.

The FRSC which is in possession of the Printing Machine in which the signature of the Director/Chief VIO is being stored, then prints the Driver’s Licence for those candidates that approach the FRSC.
But here are my own observations:

FRSC officials capitalise on their access to the signature of the director/chief VIOs which had already been stored in their “System” and consequently print out Drivers’ Licences indiscriminately to untested and unqualified drivers, hence the high rate of accidents on our highways.

The FRSC has never told nor educated Nigerians that the would-be driver will have to undergo a Driving Test with the VIOs in their various areas in the States/FCT before they can obtain a genuine Driver’s Licence. The moment the FRSC allows Nigerians to know that the would-be driver must go for a Driving Test, the issue of fake Drivers’ Licences will reduce drastically in the country.

The Federal Road Safety Commission should without delay hand over all Information Processing Centres (IPC) nationwide to each state of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory as they have failed Nigerians in the Printing of Driver’s Licence moreso that The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria which came into force on December 31, 2002 and The Revised Edition (Laws of The Federation of Nigeria, Act 2004, Chapter F19 Section 11) clearly states the functions of Federal Road Safety Commission as regards the Printing of Driver’s Licence in Nigeria.

The National Road Traffic Regulation 2006 was a making of the FRSC to create the impression that they have the power to print Driver’s Licences, forgetting that the issue of Motor Vehicle Administration is a Residual Matter Under the 1999 Nigeria Constitution – and this supercedes any regulation.

Bamgbose lives in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

12 thoughts on “Yomi Bamgbose’s Article on Driver’s License in Nigeria..

  1. my drivers licence is about to due just to remind you and a nice article you have here
    more grace to your elbow


  2. I do love ur article but what i want to know to how many months gress do i have to renew my license after the expiary date?


  3. I appreciate your insightful information, I got it at the right time; we can fold our hands and let some novice milk us in this Nation; the statutory functions of each stakeholders in the processing of driver’s license came just a day before I will need it. God will save, change and make Nigeria great as we jointly ignore the status quo and demand for the best in every governmental processing structure…



  4. I really appreciate Ur idea in Ur article teaching the Nigerian public on how to get a genuine drivers license. But one problem i don’t understand is why is taking the FRSC up to a year to process just one drivers license even when i went through the due process. thank u!


  5. 24th January 2011

    The Editor,

    Happy New Year to you and the rest of your family, kindly allow me a space in your

    widely read newspaper to react to the reports compile by Mr Samuel Awoyinfa of punch newspaper.

    of 23rd January 2011 page 9 on the issue of driving licence Processing in Lagos State.

    The issue of Processing of driving licence in Nigeria need urgent attention from all the

    Stakeholders, the slow spade is not only in Lagos State, but all States in Nigeria including the

    Federal Capital Territory .The beginning of the matter started in 1997,when the Federal Road

    Safety Commission comes up with the idea of National Drivers Licence. (NDL)

    to Enhance National drivers Licence 2004 now Customized National drivers licence 2007.

    The FRSC was then directly under the supervisions of the Chief of General Staff, whom the

    State Military Admistrator took Instruction from, then passes such instruction to the State

    Agencies that were consigned.

    Presently three Agencies were involve in the production of Drivers Licence in Nigeria-

    Namely Board of internal Revenue, Vehicle Inspection office and Federal Road safety

    Commission. Their Roles BIR collect Money/monies, VIO conduct Test on theory / Practical

    while the FRSC Print the Licence. This is too cumbersome, that’s why we have delay in the

    Production of the drivers Licence, and hence the FAKE/FORGED of the document, and no

    Agency can be held responsible for these short coming, although the Drivers Licence carried the

    Signature of various State Directors/Chief VIOs, they claimed they never see the applicants

    or their subordinate see them before being issued with the drivers Licence by the FRSC.

    Now that we are now in a democratic set up where the Constitution is Supreme, the following grey

    area needs to be address.

    The issue of who has the statutory responsibility to Test, Produce and Print Drivers Licence

    between the FRSC and the State Road Traffic Officers (VIO) should have being laid to rest

    finally, if not for the death of formal President UrmaruYar Adua. Mr President has directed the

    then Minister of Justice Mr A. Andoaka to convey a meeting of all State Commissioner for

    Justice and Attorney General to deliberate on it in other to find lasting solution to it, these was

    base on the meeting he held with Governor Fashola, Mr Osita Chidoka and Minister of Justice.

    Governor Fashola, Mr Osita Chidoka and the Minister for justice. Please see Punch Newspaper

    of 15th May 2008 Caption Yardua Meet Fashola And Chidoka on Drivers Licence. After listing

    to the submission of the two Parties the President agreed that the State should Test and Produce

    the Drivers Licence, while the FRSC designed the TEMPLATE for the purpose of uniformity

    base on the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, which came into force on 31st December 2004

    Chapter F19 section 11.

    Motor vehicle Administration is a composite process that revolves around the management and

    control of motor licensing.Operations including driving and other related licences. The constitutional

    of the existing practices with respect to the competence of the Federal and State Authorities on

    matter pertaining to Motor Vehicle Administration under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal

    Republic of Nigeria relates to the following matters;

    A. Issuance and renewal of Motor Vehicle driving licence, learners permit, certificate of road –

    Worthiness and motor cycle licence, articulated vehicle licences e.t.c.

    B. Regulation of guidelines on the issuance of drivers licence.

    C. Revocation, supervision, or withdrawal of licence for breach of condition.

    D. Regulation of levies, collection of fee emanating from its operation and payment of same into

    the appropriate sub head of the state government account.

    E. Preparation and keeping of statutory register/data of all licence issued and to carry out other

    activities as may be required in pursuance of the functions listed in the departments under

    this law or any other law. Its pertinent to state that it is an integral part of security as

    safety measures introduced in the world over to ensure proper identification of vehicle and

    competence of drivers .

    A careful examination of the Constitution reveals that Motor Vehicle administration is not

    included in either the exclusive or concurrent legislative list, the ordinary implication is that is a

    residual matter and therefore within the legislative competence of the state, more so the FRSC

    has no constitutional power to register vehicle /motorcycle to be used on public highways, it is

    the state that can do it.

    The FRSC decree number 45 1988 as amended by decree number 35 of 1992. The FRSC

    Establishment Act 2007 is deemed to be an existing law made by the National Assembly by

    section 315, of the 1999 constitution. The provision of this section is outside the scope

    of item 63 of the Exclusive legislative list. (TRAFFIC ON FEDERAL TRUNK ROAD)

    The FRSC should as a matter of urgency faces her statutory duty of safety on our roads and

    allow the States /FCT to handle the issue of Drivers licence so that we know whom to blame for

    any discrepancies that might arise from it. In Nigeria today we did not have shortage of materials

    for Vehicle licence, hackney permit, and roadworthiness. Why drivers licence? Nigerians are

    being embarrassed everyday by law enforcement Agencies for not having drivers licence,

    Operating with fake/forged driver’s licence, or failing to produce the said document on demand.

    States/FCT government are losing Billions of naira on Drivers Licence in Nigeria

    Thank you,

    Chief Yomi Bamgbose (yomybam@ yahoo.com) 08033074347

    5,Peters Street ,Ake Abeokuta,

    Ogun State Nigeria.


  6. I sincerely welcome this understandable article about Drivers’ and vehicles’ licensing. Please, could you further your explanation regarding how a genuine driver license could be obtained practically in the nation.


  7. It is interesting to see this article. I honestly think the entire citizenry are being taken for fools. Its appalling to hear that people entrusted with safe road travels are fraudulent. A friend was issued fake drivers license recently and ARRESTED by frsc ikeja, the car was impounded and he was asked to pay a fine of 10, 000naira, fees for new vehicle license amounting to 6350naira all paid to keystone bank. 9500naira cash was collected by the officers to ‘process and fastrack’. After all these, my friend was asked to hand over the original vehicle particulars and a sum of 11000naira for investigation fee (he called the headquarters and was told this fee wasn’t to be collected). When confronted with the illegal act, the officers in charge asked him to get a lawyer before the vehicle can be released. Now the issue here is unlike VIO and agencies like nafdac and lasma who have outrightly stated proceedures for prosecution etc, frsc has not done that and it is very related to the content of this article. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE SAFEGUARDED WITH OUR SAFETY, THEY SHOULD BE MORE RESPONSIBLE. ITS A HUGE SHAME.


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