By Nathaniel Shaibu
The spokesperson for the Directorate of Road Traffic Services in the Federal Capital Territory, Kalu Emetu, has defended the fee charged to motorists for the replacement of faded number plates, describing it as legal.
Emetu, who spoke with our correspondent in a phone interview on Sunday, however, noted that nowhere had he said that the DRTS charged N25,000 as quoted by some news reports, adding that the service was not necessarily a replacement of plate numbers, but just a change of faded plate numbers.
He described the plate number as a form of identity for vehicles, adding that when motorists reported stolen vehicles, there was no way to trace the vehicles without clear number plates.
“I didn’t quote any figures. What I addressed was the sections that legally allow us to do a change of number plates. You don’t renew number plates. It is only when it is faded that you have to change it. Look at it this way, it is just like your name, it is an identity. We have to be able to identify your vehicle from metres away.
And it is not only the DRTS that is concerned, but the owner is also concerned. When your car is stolen and you go to report it, we need to be sure that we can see that plate number from a distance, otherwise, how do we identify your car?”
The Spokesman also said that there was an official amount charged by the Directorate for the change of faded plate numbers but said he would rather not name a figure and be misquoted.