The sum of N331,950,000 was said to have been generated as revenue in 2016 by the Vehicle Inspection Department (VIO) under the Plateau State Ministry of Works and Transport.
The Commissioner for Ministry Works and Transport, Hon. Pam Dongs, disclosed this on Wednesday at the commissioning of “operational vehicles” for VIO in Jos. He appealed to the state government to approve a financial 15 percent for the running of activities of the department efficiently and sustainably.
The commissioner said that the proliferation of illegal motor parks has given ample room for some of them to be barely on the road ways. In line with this development, the commissioner then proposed the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee that will review the existing Motor Parks in the state.
Hon Dongs appealed for land to be acquired and designated as motor parks and lay-bys along major roads, from the improvement recorded recently in terms of revenue generation, and that the passage of the bill on Road Traffic Safety into law will bring out great potentials of the organization, if properly funded.
He said the money was generated from sources, direct sources, and from their primary duties, which includes inspection of vehicles, traffic management, Driver’s License certification, registrations and indirect sources through enforcement of activities of Motor Licensing Authority.
While commissioning the vehicles the governor, Barr Simon Lalong, tasked the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) to generate more revenue, citing the global economic meltdown and the falling price of crude oil as a need to look inward to generate revenue.
He said some of the ways to improve in revenue generation is “through road-user charges, drivers’ licensing and all vehicular taxes that fall within the mandate of traffic management agencies in the state.”
Lalong noted that, a bill for establishment of an Agency for Road Traffic Administration and Vehicle Inspection is in the floor of the House of Assembly for consideration, and called on road users to cooperate with the officers of the Vehicle Inspection Department.
The governor warned officers against involving in corrupt practices, as he has directed the Commissioner of Works and Transport to set up a Monitoring Unit with publicized feedback number on each of the inspection vehicles, as deterrent to erring officers. He, however, expressed displeasure at the “indiscriminate erection of road bumps” on the state’s major high ways by unauthorized persons, saying that, those people would be sanctioned.
Conscience Triumph reports that 14 Hilux vans, two towing vehicles and two vehicles for road maintenance were commissioned. The commissioner said this will strengthen the department towards higher productivity, but however, decried the shortage of manpower, which leaves the number of VIOs in the state with a meager 40 officers.