Nigeria’s minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that a case study has revealed that N1.8 trillion worth of used vehicles were imported into the country between October, 2018 and September, 2019.
The minister revealed that Nigeria was the hub of stolen vehicles, as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIM) of vehicles in the country were usually unregistered, hence automobiles within the shores of Nigeria cannot be traced.
Ahmed, who spoke in Abuja, yesterday, at a seminar on the National Vehicle Registry Policy of the federal government, said it was in a bid to address these challenges and more that her ministry launched the National Vehicle Registry (VREG).
Consequently, she stated that in line with the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative, the ministry conceived and launched the VREG automated gateway portal, as a means of leveraging technology infrastructure to maximize revenue generation for Nigeria as well as to enhance national security. These she listed to include curtailing kidnapping, utilization of vehicles in crime perpetration and terrorism.
VREG, she stated, is a national repository of vehicular information which seeks to provide a singular platform through which all relevant agencies shall reference vehicular data with a view to ascertaining ownership and value information, capturing vehicular exchanges and utilizing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of all vehicles in Nigeria.
The minister added that the VREG system would, among others, serve as a single source of validation at the point of vehicle registration while capturing and storing all vehicular information over the life cycle of every vehicle for the purpose of effective motor vehicle administration, ensuring the enforceability of penalties placed on vehicles by regulators across board and ensuring accurate monitoring, documentation and tracking of vehicular activities across the nation, to enhance National Security.
The VREG, she stressed, is powered by interconnected interactions of key agencies, parties, and stakeholders. The stakeholder relationships that will facilitate the achievement of the goals of VREG include: Interchange of information with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and state revenue systems on nationwide vehicle registration, ownership, history, and for proper road traffic regulation and violation enforcement,” she said.
The minister added that the stakeholder relationships also include providing the Nigerian Customs with guidance in all clearing, duties, registration and redistribution of vehicle, targeted at ensuring that all vehicles are trackable and taxable.
She announced that the pilot phase of VREG has commenced at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Kirikiri Light Terminal.