Kwara State Internal Revenue Service collaborated with the Federal Road Safety Corps, The Nigerian Police Force, the Vehicle Inspection Officers and Sovereign Trust Insurance Limited to train 26 drivers of the Self-Reliance Economic Advancement Programme (SEAP) on Friday, 18th November, 2016 at SEAP Events Hall, Ilorin.
The Technical Manager of SEAP, Mr Omotosho Oladele welcomed all to the training, he commended the authorities for an excellent job in ensuring safety on the roads. Mr Omotosho also applauded KW-IRS for the crucial role played in harmonising taxes in Kwara State. He particularly noted that Unions that were usually seen collecting levies from drivers were no longer present in Kwara State has a result of the giant step taken by KW-IRS. He encouraged the drivers to pay attention to the training and be ready to ask questions on areas that needs clarification.
The spokesman for KW-IRS, Olarewaju Adisa of the Road Taxes Department of KW-IRS MDAs directorate spoke on the responsibility of KW-IRS to Kwara State resident in regards to collection of revenue for the strategic development of the State. He commented on the relationship that exists between the law enforcement agencies and KW-IRS who work together in synergy to ensure that revenue collected goes into the coffers of the Government. In addition, he made mention of the efforts KW-IRS is making to further consolidate the collection of revenue of Local Government, State Government and Federal Government through the Joint Tax Board which has an oversight of activities of the State Internal Revenue Services and the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The drivers were given opportunity to ask questions on the specific roles of the various law enforcement agencies. The DPO of Adewole Divisional Headquarters elucidated that all law enforcement agencies had the power to scrutinise the vehicle documents of drivers and he gave an instance that in the event of an accident, every law enforcement agent had several roles to play. For example, one of the duties of the Police Force is to ascertain the identity of the victim via his/her documents. He also stated that the VIO are mandated to inspect the vehicle before the case can be taken to the Court of law. Another duty of the VIO is to check that safety measures are in place. He made mention that in the past vehicles were inspected by the VIOs, however as a result of the influx of vehicles in Nigeria, the FRSC are available to assist the VIO.
The FRSC Officer in turn cautioned drivers to check their documents regularly and ensure that vehicle documents are renewed before they expire to avoid embarrassment or impoundment of vehicle. In his comment on the question of scrutinising vehicle documents, he stated that for the FRSC, vehicle documents aid officers to identify stolen vehicles. The officer also reiterated on the need for Drivers to have valid driver’s license. He stated that the reason why the Federal Government consolidated the driver’s license in Nigeria is for driver’s license to be accepted in any part of the country and not only in one’s State. He further stated that the perceived delay in the production and issuance of drivers licence is as a result of a tripartite arrangement between various agencies who are involved in the production and distribution; hence the time frame between the application and the physical issuance is adjudged to be lengthy.
In response to a question on why drivers have to pay for third party insurance despite the fact that other documents are up to date, the representative of Sovereign Trust Insurance stated that third party insurance is mandatory for all drivers according to the law and that having insurance on vehicles have benefits for individuals and organisations.
The Executive Director of SEAP, Deacon Olatunde Oladokun in his speech appreciated the authorities for honouring the invite, he also commented on his respect for the law as his motive for introducing the training for drivers of his organisation in order for them to be law abiding while discharging their duties. He commended the cooperation of the agents of law who are responsible for ensuring safety on the roads. And he reiterated his commitment in ensuring that his drivers are obedient, law abiding, have respect for other road users and diligent in the maintenance of their vehicles.