Barely five months to the expiration of the old driver’s licence, motorists in Lagos on Monday described the process of acquiring new licences as stressful and time-consuming.
Some of the applicants in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria expressed dissatisfaction over the stressed involved in obtaining and renewing their licences.
A NAN correspondent who visited the Ojodu Berger Centre I and II, Bariga and Ikeja, four out of the seven registration centres, reports that applicants were scanty at the centres.
One of the applicants, Mohali Olawale, seen at the Ojodu Berger Centre I, said: “The experience here is pathetic.
“The system is not encouraging.
“We pass through stress to obtain form and capturing.”
Olawale, who complained of unending postponement of capturing by the Federal Road Safety Commission over recurrent breakdowns of networks, called on the Federal Government to intervene.
He added: “The Federal Government should come to our aid and make the process stress-free.
“I have been coming here over and over.
“The officials keep postponing and giving me new dates.”
Another applicant, Mary Onwakwe, reiterated that the process was stressful because of limited personnel and machines at the centres.
Onwakwe said: “The processes are strenuous from the beginning to the end.
“It is my husband that is doing the running around.
“I cannot undergo the stress with my condition as a pregnant woman.
“If you are coming here, you need to forget about the office because when you come here no matter how early, you don’t know when you will leave.”
Onwakwe urged the government to design a stress-free way of doing the bio-data capturing for motorists.
Adamu Abdullahi, an applicant at Ojodu Berger Centre II, said: “It is not easy.
“I started the whole process of renewing my driver’s licence last year June.”
Abdullahi said that he suffered for days before a temporary licence was issued to him last year and was undergoing the same process to obtain the original licence.
He added: “I am passing through many difficulties.
“I was here last year to renew my driver’s licence.
“They gave me a temporary one after I suffered for many days and they gave me six months appointment on January 9.
“I came on the next appointment and was directed to undergo eye-test, which I passed, and this is the second day.
“I have been stranded since 7am.”
Another applicant at the centre, Abiodun Ogunsina, said: “Since February 2013, I have been coming and going and there was no way.
“If you come here without knowing anyone, you will pass through hell.
“When the officials complained that my name could not be found in their system after payment, they rescheduled my appointment and now they have given me another three months appointment.
“April 14 is another day of appointment.
“I am just waiting to find someone to help me out of this predicament.”
Chris Emesurum, an applicant at the Ikeja Centre, described the process as hectic because of the limited machines and constant network failure.
Emesurum said: “The fact is that the process has been so hectic and stressful.
“Late last year, people would come here as early as 5am and wait till 10pm.
“Just one machine for a centre is not enough.
“It makes it stressful.
“If the government can make more machines available for the capturing, it will facilitate the process.
“Also, the Internet facility is nothing to write home about.
“They will tell you there is no network and that they have not been working for the past one week.”
Emesurum said that he was captured after five months.
Another applicant at the centre, Johnson Olanipekun, said that he had been processing the new licence for about two years without getting the original.
Yemi Salami, an applicant at the Bariga Centre, condemned the Federal Road Safety Commission for its inability to resolve constant network problem, which was the major cause of delay.
Salami said: “This procedure is very tiring.
“They complain a lot about machine and network breakdown.
“How many months do they want this to take us?
Akinronbi Akande, an applicant at the same centre, urged the government to train more officials and to also acquire more machines to facilitate easy registration.
Reacting, Chidi Nkwonta, the Lagos State FRSC Sector Commander, said: “I sympathise and identify with all applicants because l know the stress they are going through.”
Nkwonta said that the commission was equally going through the same stress daily to approve and capture applicants.
He added: “We are the ones people insult and abuse even though we stay awake all night to approve driver’s licence and capture the people.
“Lagos has very high number of drivers’ population and currently we have only seven centres because of equipment.
“Sometimes, network problem, which is not peculiar to Lagos, also impedes our operation.
“We have to work at the weekends just to meet up with the demand and we have put more men on the job and we have also ordered more equipment.”
The sector commander added that the commission was planning to open six additional centres at Onigbongbo, Agege, Alaka, Apapa, Badagry and Ikotun.
Nkwonta said: “They must bear with us.
“It is not that we are insensitive.
“We are doing something about it.
“We have put more men on the job and ordered more equipment.”
The Joint Tax Board had earlier set October 1, 2013 as deadline for motorists before extending it to June 30, 2014.