By Folasade Akpan
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, says the Federal Government has commenced the pilot phase of the National Vehicle Registry (VREG) project.
Ahmed said this on Thursday in Abuja at a sensitisation seminar on understanding the process of VREG, adding that the pilot phase commenced at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Kirikiri Light Terminal.
She said that the registry was powered by interconnected interactions of key agencies, parties and stakeholders whose channels facilitate its robust functionalities.
According to her, the stakeholder relationships that will facilitate the achievement of the goals of the registry include Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and State Revenue Systems’ integration with VREG.
This would be for information interchange on nationwide vehicle registration, ownership, history and for proper road traffic regulation and violation enforcement.
“Providing the NCS with guidance in all clearing, duties, registration and redistribution of vehicles, targeted at ensuring that all vehicles are trackable, taxable and generate more revenues.
“The integration of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) onto VREG for aggregation and regularisation of vehicle insurance across the country.
“Communication between Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) moveable asset registry and VREG to provide dynamic records of vehicular assets, thus boosting lend ability to Nigerians.”
Ahmed said that the Nigeria Police Force and security agencies such as the Office of the National Security Adviser would be integrated to facilitate robust nationwide vehicular tracking, comprehensive theft and other vehicle-related crimes reporting.
She said that a recent study revealed that between October 2018 and September 2019, Nigeria recorded over N1.8 trillion value of used vehicle importation.
According to her, it was further revealed that Nigeria was the hub of stolen vehicles as Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of vehicles in the country were usually unregistered and could consequently not be traced.
Ahmed said that to address these challenges and in line with the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative of the federal government, the ministry conceived and introduced VREG Automated Gateway Portal to leverage on technology infrastructure.
This was with an objective to maximise revenue generation for the country and enhance national security such as curtailing kidnapping, utilisation of vehicles in crime perpetration and terrorism.
According to her, the project will serve as a single source of validation at the point of vehicle registration while capturing and storing all vehicular information over the life cycle of every vehicle for the purpose of effective motor vehicle registration.
She added that it would ensure the enforcement of penalties placed on vehicles by regulators across board, ensure accurate monitoring, documentation and tracking of vehicular activities across the nation.
In his address, Mr Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Sectretary at the ministry, said the platform had the potential to increase revenue generation, plug leakages, revitalise the economy, improve access to credit and enhance economic planning.
“VREG portal would improve road user safety, enhance vehicle road worthiness and improve traffic regulation enforcement.
“These communication and connection channels will facilitate robust functionalities by ensuring thorough remittance of duties by making it nearly impossible to evade duty payment on vehicles.
“It will provide users, insurance firms and third parties with car facts and history of vehicles, thus creating a disincentive by ensuring that stolen, accident wrecked and other unsafe vehicles are no longer brought into the Nigerian market.
“It will provide a central system for tracking all vehicles coming into Nigeria independent of point of entry.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that VREG is a national repository of vehicular data that seeks to provide a singular platform through which all relevant agencies, organisations and individuals shall reference vehicular data through their unique VIN. (NAN)