60% of driving licences in C’River fake –FRSC

The Federal Road Safety Commission on Thursday said over 60 per cent of the driving licences being used by drivers in Cross River State was fake.

The state Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr. Ikechukwu Igwe, who disclosed this while on a visit to the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, in Calabar, said the licences were issued by touts.

He noted that the licences were not captured in the database of the commission.

Igwe said, “I have discovered that about 60 per cent of driving licenses in this state is fake. They were produced by touts and were not captured in our data base.

“During last week’s enlightenment campaign with tanker drivers, we discovered that out of over 70 licences that were checked, more than 50 of them were fake.”

The sector commander advised members of the public to use their mobile telephone handsets to verify whether licences issued to them were genuine or not.

“One could use his mobile telephone handset to know the status of his licence. What such a person should do is to open his message box, and then type ‘NDL’. Give a gap and then type ‘STATUS’, give a gap again and type the number of the driving licence, then send it to 33811.

“After some time, a message: ‘this license was issued on … date)’ would appear on the screen to prove that the licence is genuine. On the other hand, if this message appears: ‘not in the system’, it means the licence is fake,” Igwe explained.

He also advised motorists to be wary when anybody asks for the copy of passport photographs for the processing of a driving licence, adding that all potential driving licence owners must be captured by the FRSC machine at the designated Board of Internal Revenue Office in Calabar.

Igwe also disclosed that some number plates and proof of ownership of vehicles were not captured in the FRSC database because they were also done through touts.

“Proof of ownership should be generated from our system. Once proof of ownership is handwritten, it is not genuine too. We will soon embark on an exercise to check every proof of ownership of vehicles operating in Cross River,” he stated.

Responding, the state chairman of the NUJ, Mr. Ndoma Akpet, said the media would partner the commission in creating awareness on how motorists could reduce auto-crash to the barest minimum.

Akpet noted that road safety duties should be 70 per cent enlightenment.