Lagos - Motorists in Lagos on Tuesday decried difficulties in obtaining the new driver’s licence as they rush for the document to beat the expiry date of the old one.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the old licence will expire on September 30, according to the issuer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
This official processing fee is N6 350.
The FRSC requires fresh applicants to go through an approved driving school to acquire a learner’s permit and driving certificate before obtaining the licence.
Both fresh and old applicants are required to go for biometrics before obtaining the licence.
Four weeks to the deadline, many applicants in Lagos daily besiege the processing the FRSC office at Ojodu-Berger - the major processing centre.
Many applicants who spoke to NAN said that the process was cumbersome and processing slow.
A civil servant, Ambrose Nnaemeka, told NAN that he had been processing the licence since March and had yet to invited for the data capture.
"I filled my form online, paid the recommended fee through a bank. I concluded my examination since March but have yet to go for data capture, which was scheduled for May 3 and repeatedly postponed.
"I cannot lose my job by seeking permission from my office always to go for data capture.
"There is always the problem of system collapse, which no one can help,” Nnaemeka said.
Another applicant, "Evelyn Agunbiade, told NAN that fresh applicants encountered more delays.
"As a new applicant, I have done all l needed to do but have yet to go for data capture. It is frustrating,” she said.
Tolagbe Adeyinka, said he decided to go to Ogun for the document because of the delay in Lagos State.
"I should have processed my licence in Lagos since I work here but because of the difficulty, I had to go to Ogun, and in less than three months l collected my driver’s licence,” Adeyinka said.
"Nseobong Akpabio, who was FRSC Lagos State Sector Commander until last week, told NAN that there were five processing centres in Lagos for prompt service.
Akpabio said that, although there were backlogs of applications, the corps was working hard to process them in order to accept new applications.
"At times, we experience collapse of our system due to the number of people we attend to daily, but our engineers respond to the situation.
"We advise applicants to go to centres closer to them to ease the current jam at Ojodu-Berger. All the centres are the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adetunji Adegoke, Ogun State Sector Commander of the FRSC, told NAN on telephone that the issuance of the licence had been smooth in the state.
He said that there were no backlogs.
Mary Wakakawa, Kwara State Sector Commander of the corps, also told NAN on telephone that the issuance was without hitches in the state.
"Initially we had a little backlog to clear, but we have overcome that now. Drivers are getting the licence as and when due,’’ she said.