By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru ABUJA—A member of House of the Representatives, Comrade Philip Shaibu, has raised the alarm that the plan by the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in collaboration with a top federal government official to introduce speed limiters on vehicles with obsolete technology was another way of exploiting Nigerians.
Comrade Shaibu, who was a one time national president of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, alleged that the technology the FRSC has concluded plans to introduce failed in Kenya six months after it was installed and that there was the conspiracy between the FRSC management, a highly placed government official and the manufacturers of the failed technology to dump it in Nigeria just to enrich some people. Recall that the House had on February 25, 2016, in an unanimous resolution, rejected the proposed Electronic Controlled Modules, ECM, by the FRSC, to reduce speed limit on the roads, saying the technology proposed by the commission was outdated. The House, presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, requested the FRSC to adopt and apply the Spider technology that conformed with existing global best practice as against the introduction of the outdated speed limiter technology. It also summoned the management of the FRSC, to appear before it and explain the reason for the choice of a technology allegedly said to be outdated and had not worked in the African countries it was introduced. But it was gathered that despite the resolution, the commission had allegedly concluded to bring the ‘obsolete’ technology in total disobedience of the House resolution. Speaking to journalists in Abuja weekend, Shaibu, who represents Etsako Federal Constituency of Edo State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said if the FRSC and the collaborator in government succeeded in bringing the technology, it would at the end discredit the government. He said the excuse that the introduction of obsolete technology would reduce the accident on the road was just a ploy for those behind it to whip up sentiments in a bid to enrich some people. Besides, the lawmaker said that introducing speed limiter on the national roads was a good idea but shouldn’t be at the expense of the poor, adding that such technologies in developed countries were installed on highways and patrol vehicles and not private vehicles. He said: “I want to say equivocally clear here that the FRSC is taking Nigerians for a ride and the heads of the FRSC that we have had in the past and present have always taken us for a ride, and the present also is continuing with taking advantage of Nigerians. “You will recall that the past leadership of the FRSC introduced what is called reflective stickers and Nigerians were forced to buy this reflective stickers. If you don’t have this stickers, you will be penalized, a development which forced Nigerians to buy this stickers, even when it was painful for us to buy them. And at the end of the day, these stickers were discontinued by the FRSC. “After the discontinuation and abandonment of those stickers, the FRSC introduced what it called plate numbers, and you will recall that when they introduced this plate numbers, they told us even when Nigerians opposed it that with this plate numbers, integrity will be brought to the issuance of plate number, and that there will be a chip on the new plate number. “They said that the chip will carry the identity of the owner and will make it possible for them to monitor every road user who commits any offense in the country. That is what they told us that time. “You and I know that they only used us to market that product for some companies to enrich themselves. Today, these plate numbers do not have those chips that will identify who is the owner of these vehicles. “The same methods that they used in the past to acquire plate numbers is the same method they are still using. The same process. No biometrics is done, no chip on any plate number. If there is any, I want the FRSC head, Boboye, to bring any of these plate numbers that they told us there will be a chip that will identify if you commit any offence. That is another failed project. “Today, they have come up again with an outdated technology that was used in some African countries, including Kenya, for Nigerians to be exploited again. I am saying no and that is why I moved that motion that the outdated technology should be rejected by Nigerians, and that the FRSC should discontinue with the product. “I also want to say that this product is meant to enrich some people, and I am aware that certain highly placed individuals in this government are supporting this process.’’