Investigation: Driver’s Licence: How Abuja VIO, Driving Schools Compromise Standard

In this investigation, a Daily Trust Saturday reporter went undercover to unmask the law enforcement agents and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)-designated driving schools within Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that are working together to compromise the country’s driving standards, thus contributing to road accidents.

Concealing a recording device, our reporter went round the streets of Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, in an attempt to test the tripartite arrangement of the country’s driver’s licence procedure and how underage and unqualified drivers find their way behind the wheels.

Visiting the first driving school to enquire if this reporter, with no driving experience, could be issued a driving certificate, one of the first requirements for a driver’s licence by the FRSC, the staff expressed readiness to subvert the process.

“Don’t worry, we can issue you the certificate. Since you came through us, there is no problem,” a staff of a driving school accredited by the FRSC, who simply identified himself as Hamza said, even when he was repeatedly told that this reporter did not have any driving experience.

This readiness to circumvent the process was visible even among staff members of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), popularly known as Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), who are mandated to engage in the training and testing of drivers before they are issued licences.

“No need to attend any driving school,” a staff of the VIO had told this reporter and offered to ensure that he went through a seamless process to get the licence that would authorise him to join the country’s numerous but undocumented and unqualified drivers.

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Ifah Sunday Ele
Ifah Sunday Ele
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