The Nigerian Police Force said it has concluded plans to combat motor vehicle-associated crimes with a digitalised Central Motor Registry.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, spoke at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja on Thursday.
Adejobi, at a media interaction, said the development would revolutionise vehicle registration in Nigeria.
He said: “I am honoured to present an overview of the transformation underway within the Nigeria Police Force Central Motor Registry.
“This transformation represents a crucial milestone in our commitment to safeguarding public safety and enhancing our capacity to combat motor vehicle-associated crimes.”
The image manager said that in the past, Nigeria had grappled with a surge in vehicle-related offences, including car theft, snatching, kidnapping, carjacking, and hit-and-run incidents, largely attributed to the use of unregistered vehicles, tinted windows, among other factors, which posed significant challenges across the country.
Adejobi further said: “This worrisome trend prompted a strategic response from the Nigeria Police Force, leading to the deployment of specialised border forces aimed at curbing these criminal activities.
“In the light of these efforts, the NPF rejigged the Central Motor Registry, a vital initiative that has played a pivotal role in addressing these challenges.”
He also stated that the CMR has a rich history spanning over six decades, having been established in 1958 with a fundamental mission to combat vehicle-related crimes and bolster national security.
According to him, as an invaluable repository of motor vehicle data and intelligence, the CMR has consistently, though limitedly, fulfilled its mandate by facilitating investigations, enhancing law enforcement operations, and ensuring the efficient recovery of stolen vehicles.
Adejobi added: “However, recognising the evolving technological landscape and the imperative of accessibility and efficiency, the NPF has embarked on a digitalization journey to further enhance the capabilities of the CMR.
“This forward-looking initiative aims to leverage cutting-edge technology to streamline processes, improve data accessibility, and reinforce the fight against vehicle-related crimes, ultimately contributing to the safety and security of our nation.”
He noted that the establishment and operation of the Central Motor Registry was firmly grounded within the framework of the Nigerian legal system, which includes key legislative instruments.
His words: “These include the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which establishes the Nigeria Police Force and the office of the InspectorGeneral of Police; the Police Act, 2020, which delineates the functions of the NPF, encompassing the protection and detection of crimes, safeguarding lives and property, and the enforcement of all laws and regulations, as specified in Section 4.
“This Act also empowers the IGP, as detailed in Section 9 (1) (a, b, c, d & g), to administer and organize the Police Force into various specialized units and groups to enhance overall performance and effectiveness into which class the CMR falls.
“Furthermore, the legal foundation for the CMR is reinforced by the National Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, along with various subsidiary legislations.
“These legislative provisions collectively empower and guide the NPF in its mission to combat vehicle-related crimes, protect public safety, and uphold the rule of law, and provide the necessary authority and framework for the CMR to fulfil its mission effectively and within the boundaries of the law.”
Adejobi said that the revitalisation and digitalisation of the CMR were vital steps in adapting to the digital age.
He stressed: “Traditional manual processes were limiting the CMR’s efficiency and growth potential, hindering our ability to combat motor vehicle-associated crimes effectively.”
He also maintained that “outdated methods inadvertently favoured criminals, providing them with opportunities for illicit activities.
“This impunity negatively impacted law-abiding citizens who suffered the consequences of these limitations.
“The digitalization of the CMR represents a proactive approach to address these challenges, enhancing our commitment to citizen safety and security.
“The NPF has made substantial investments in a robust technology infrastructure, enabling real-time connectivity among all CMR units across Nigeria.
“Two CMR Command Centres, strategically situated in Abuja and Lagos, play pivotal roles in streamlining CMR operations.
“Additionally, we have established a network of thirty-seven CMR Information Centres and Enforcement Units equipped with real-time vehicle status retrieval systems.
“These enhancements empower us to monitor and manage motor vehicle-related information efficiently.
“To support these technological advancements, we have deployed a tailor-made application for CMR operations, ensuring our personnel are equipped with user-friendly tools.
“All CMR operations are led by well-trained and highly skilled police officers dedicated to upholding professionalism and integrity.”
Adejobi mentioned that there was a range of services provided by the Central Motor Registry that cater for the diverse needs of valued citizens, which include the Motor Vehicle Information Certificate: Obtaining comprehensive information about a vehicle’s ownership, history, and status to make informed decisions and ensure legal compliance.
There are also: “Change of Ownership, facilitate a smooth transition of vehicle ownership with proper documentation. Change of Colour, update your vehicle’s records to reflect changes in its exterior colour, maintaining accurate information. Change of Engine, Ensure proper documentation of changes to your vehicle’s engine, adhering to regulatory requirements. Change of Chassis/Body: Update CMR records when there are changes to a vehicle’s chassis or body structure, ensuring accurate documentation.
“Change of Licence Number: Request a change to your vehicle’s license number, following legal procedures and obtaining necessary approvals. International Driving Permit (IDP): Obtain an internationally recognized driving permit for legal driving in foreign countries. 8. International Certificate for Motor Vehicle (ICV): Secure the ICV, a crucial document for international vehicle transportation, confirming compliance with international standards.
“Used Imported Vehicles and Locally Assembled Vehicles: Register imported or locally assembled vehicles in accordance with regulations and safety standards. Issuance of Tint Permit: Apply for a tint permit to ensure compliance with regulations governing vehicle window tints.
“It is imperative to address certain issues in motor vehicle administration. The Nigeria Police Force’s Central Motor Registry (CMR) is a dedicated platform entrusted with specific functions that cannot be carried out by any other entity outside our institution. We have recently received intelligence regarding the existence of a platform called ‘VReg,’ allegedly operated by a private company engaged in performing NPF CMR duties. We want to emphasize that this practice must cease immediately, as there is no legislative framework guiding such establishment.”
Adejobi clarified that motor vehicle registration and licensing were within the purview of the Nigeria Police Force as our role is to acquire essential vehicle data for our repository, vital for national security, adding that the cooperation of all stakeholders in facilitating digital integration to access and validate motor vehicle data was of paramount importance in the interest of national security.
He added: “The token fee collected is not a tax but a necessary cost to provide and sustain the required infrastructure, aimed at strengthening the revenue of Motor Vehicle Licensing Authorities.
“The CMR offers profound benefits to various stakeholders within our society. Motor vehicle licensing agencies, insurance firms, and other pertinent entities will experience increased efficiency and productivity with streamlined processes and real-time access to vehicle statuses.
“Additionally, this innovative system contributes to reducing crimes by providing comprehensive details and statuses of vehicles, enhancing law enforcement efforts, and serving as a powerful deterrent against unlawful activities.
“The CMR’s digitalization underscores our commitment to efficiency and effectiveness, reinforcing our dedication to maintaining law, order, and security on our roads.”
He emphasised the significant strides the police have made in the implementation of the Central Motor Registry, highlighting: “Our expectations for further enhancing national security through this transformative initiative.”
Adejobi added: “Since the inception of the CMR on December 7th, 2022, we have received a total of 8,569 requests from 7,513 applicants, encompassing 8,497 motor vehicles and 72 motorcycles, tricycles.
“Out of these, 8,466 have been successfully approved, while 103 requests are currently in the processing phase.
“These statistics underscore our dedication to streamlining and modernizing our processes, ultimately benefiting the public and bolstering law enforcement capabilities in Nigeria.
“Over the past five weeks alone, the CMR platform has witnessed the registration of 1,244 vehicles, with 234 of them flagged as reported stolen on the platform.
“Thanks to the swift response of CMR desk officers in collaboration with field operatives, we have successfully recovered 46 stolen vehicles during this period, contributing to the overall recovery of 89 stolen vehicles in the last five weeks.
“Our efforts to recover more stolen vehicles remain ongoing, with the goal of achieving full recovery.
“In our pursuit of enhanced national security through the CMR, the Nigeria Police Force appeals to all government agencies involved in the motor vehicle administration ecosystem for cooperation and collaboration in data exchange and sharing.
“We believe that this synergy is essential for the success of this transformative initiative.
“To ensure comprehensive coverage and effectiveness, we propose that the CMR becomes a mandatory requirement for motor vehicle registration and renewal licenses nationwide.
“This step would not only streamline processes but also enhance national security by providing real-time access to critical vehicle information. Furthermore, we stress the importance of establishing data endpoints for digital integration, facilitating seamless data transfer across relevant agencies.”
To apply for CMR services, said Adejobi: “We encourage citizens to visit our user-friendly public portal at https://cmris.npf.gov.ng.
“For support or inquiries, our dedicated team is available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact our CMR Command Centre in Abuja at 08117777666 and 09169892000, or the CMR Command Centre in Lagos at 08117777555 and 09169891000.
“We are committed to providing efficient and accessible services to the public through our digitised Central Motor Registry, and these contact channels are here to ensure your needs are met seamlessly.”