Akin Akande, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration has signed an agreement for the operation of Abuja Computerized Vehicle Testing Service (ACVTS) thus setting the stage for ‘war’ against rickety and faulty vehicles.
FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, while speaking at the agreement signing ceremony in Abuja on Thursday said that the service would provide world-class vehicle inspection that would usher numerous benefits to the Federal Capital Territory and the country at large.
The agreement was signed between the FCT Administration and the Temple Resources Limited.
According to the Minister, the advantages derivable from the system include enhanced road safety, environmental protection, long-term revenue for government and better security among others.
He described the introduction of the ACVTS as part of the current transformation process in the country, stressing that safety and security were key components, not only in the transportation but all other sectors of the society.
Senator Mohammed said that with the increasing challenges posed by rapid population growth, including greater vehicular movement within the FCT, the introduction of computerized vehicle testing service has become imperative.
He pointed out that the Administration decided to involve the private sector because it was not possible for government to exclusively implement all the programmes.
Senator Mohammed described Temple Resources Limited, the operators of the ACVTS as capable and trustworthy, adding that it had a track record in other sectors, including power and finance.
The Minister declared that with the introduction of the ACVTS, the days of rickety private or commercial vehicles in FCT are now numbered.
He stated that the signing of the agreement was also in furtherance of the implementation of the new transport policy of the FCT, which is aimed at greater safety and security on the road.
He directed that adequate publicity and sensitization of the public be carried out before the take off of the operation.
Speaking, the Chairman of Temple Resources Limited, the operators of the ACVTS, Mr. Olatunde Ayeni, said the signing of the agreement marks the beginning the history of vehicle road-worthiness inspection in Nigeria and by extension, the automotive industry as a whole.
He said that following the granting of concession to Temple Resources Limited to operate computerized vehicle testing service, the FCT has become the first to commence world class computerized road worthiness inspection in Nigeria.
The chairman stated that the journey to this day started three years ago when firms were invited to bid for participation in Vehicle Road Worthiness Inspection.
Mr. Ayeni further explained the advantages of the scheme, saying that the ACVTS would test the road-worthiness of vehicles and identify any defect, such as faulty brakes, suspension and rusty bodywork.
According to him, these defects must be repaired and the vehicle must pass a retest before the owner could be issued a road-worthiness certificate.
He stated that the company was committed to working with all stakeholders, including the road traffic services of FCT, drivers, transport Union, the media, law enforcement agencies, license issuing authorities, transport companies, the government, traditional institutions, vehicle owners, commuters, residents and even visitors in Abuja to ensure seamless operation of the service.
The FCT Secretary of Transportation, Mr. Jonathan Ivoke Achara, in his speech clarified that all vehicles operating within FCT would be required to undergo a minimum of two tests per annum.
Engineer Ivoke also stated that all vehicles driving through FCT roads might be intercepted at any point and subjected to computerized road-worthiness tests.
He said that the scheme would become operational after adequate sensitization of the public.