Furore over vehicle proof of ownership renewal

April 15th, 2024 10:12 pm

Furore over vehicle proof of ownership renewal

The Federal Government’s current initiative to require drivers to renew their car proof of ownership certificate at a cost of N1,000 annually may have sparked a new wave of controversy. The new approach has already sparked a variety of responses.

Some folks believe that the policy is inconsiderate to Nigerians’ predicament.

The proponents of this viewpoint contended that it was poorly thought out for the Federal Government to impose yet another fee on the populace while Nigerians are still coming to terms with the reality of the removal of fuel subsidies, which effects have spread sorrow and untold hardship across the Nigerian society.

They added that it would not be a good sign if the policy was implemented while the dust from the subsidy reduction was still rising.

“The subsidy elimination has such cyclical consequences that it has adversely influenced the cost of basic products and services, particularly food items, in addition to more than doubling, often tripling, or even quadrupling, the cost of transportation. And the majority of those who get a salary see no improvement in their income, said Lagos resident Ayodele Kehinde, who expressed concern.

Therefore, the populace are urging the government to review the policy.

Some people disagree with the timing, but they do think the government has the right to raise money to operate the country effectively and efficiently.

They stated that it was inappropriate to introduce the car proof of ownership renewal at this time since Nigerians are still dealing with the effects of the policy to remove gasoline subsidies.

Others, however, contend that Nigerians are already overtaxed and that imposing any additional taxes, regardless of their nature or disguise, will just burden the country’s poor majority.

Maxwell Chibuike, a worried resident of Lagos and car owner, is unsure of the significance of updating the evidence of ownership for his vehicle.

Why is the proof of ownership certificate renewed yearly, he questioned? Does failing to renew it imply that I no longer possess my vehicle? I am aware that insurance and roadworthiness must be renewed annually.

But why should proof of ownership need to be renewed annually? It appears that we are only concerned with making money without explaining how it is used.

“Do they have to always put the people in debt to pay for their selfish desires? What ever happened to lowering the bloated expense of government and making billions of naira in savings?

Another local remarked that since the government’s formation on May 29, no policies had been put into place that specifically benefited the oppressed.

David Ogar bemoaned the lack of information regarding the suggested palliatives to mitigate the effects of the removal of gasoline subsidies. “Even the N8,000 they are talking about for 12 million households, how would that ameliorate the suffering of over 200 million Nigerians?” he said.

For those who believe that paying N1,000 annually to renew a proof of ownership certificate is simply inexpensive and that people shouldn’t complain, Chinwemmeri, a Twitter user, said: “They should know that it’s just a strategy by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to start first with small amount, and later increase the price to even as high as N20,000. The APC fines you annually for not being in need.

The president of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, or AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shetima, participates in the discussion as well.

Despite stressing that the money raised from such levies must not be mismanaged, he maintains that the federal government has not engaged in any unusual activity.

“Well, taxation is a way for governments all over the world to raise money so they can provide for the welfare and well-being of their citizens, he remarked.

“Considering that the renewal of the car proof of ownership certificate only occurs once a year, I don’t see anything improper if the federal government or any state government decides that it wants to use the process to create cash internally.

“It is practiced in other nations around the world, so it cannot be new in Nigeria. However, if such funds are not allocated to initiatives or causes that will help the underprivileged masses, there is where I would have a problem with the concept.

“The government should take steps to guarantee that the money raised from such taxes is properly accounted for and utilised for the purpose for which it was intended.

“It would not be acceptable for such money to end up in a private purse. It shouldn’t be a way for few people to get rich at the expense of Nigerians.

“I don’t have any issues with such taxation once the issue of accountability is addressed and there is hope that the proceeds would be used for the good of the people.”

But according to Dr. Pogu Bitrus, head of the Middle Belt Forum, it is bad for any government to overtax its residents.

He thinks Nigerians pay too much in taxes, and in response to this, he asked the government to reconsider and look for other ways to make money rather than starving and tormenting the populace.

In industrialized civilizations, taxing is one of the ways that governments make money. However, the poor get poorer and the wealthiest get richer when a government overtaxes its constituents.

“Adding more taxes is not advisable in our situation, when we are currently being fleeced dry by the elimination of the gasoline subsidy, which is still debatable.

“This is because it only causes the people to become poorer and tormented when they are unable to go to their farms due to banditry and general insecurity, and even the meager wages paid to civil servants are taken away through multiple taxes.”

He suggested that the government find persons who are at the top of the echelon to acquire more from them instead of taking N1000 from the motorists so that the poor man at the bottom might survive.

“Overtaxation is bad for everyone. Instead of levying taxes on people randomly only to raise money, the government needs to reconsider how to create revenue, he argued.

He also questioned how much money the government hoped to raise from levying such a tax on Nigerians during this difficult time.

“And after that, you inquire as to how many individuals register cars annually and how much money the N1000 renewal cost will bring in for the government. How much cash will the government receive from that?

“In some states, we contribute to internally generated revenue (IGR) through payments for income tax, vehicle registration fees, and a variety of other taxes.

“Overtaxation is bad for everyone. Instead of levying taxes on people randomly only to raise money, the government needs to reconsider how to create revenue, he argued.

He also questioned how much money the government hoped to raise from levying such a tax on Nigerians during this difficult time.

“And after that, you inquire as to how many individuals register cars annually and how much money the N1000 renewal cost will bring in for the government. How much cash will the government receive from that?

“In some states, we contribute to internally generated revenue (IGR) through payments for income tax, vehicle registration fees, and a variety of other taxes.

The annual renewal of the proof of ownership certificate for vehicles registered in the state will begin on July 1, 2023, according to Toriola, who also stated that the government will use the certificate to track car theft and recover stolen vehicles in addition to ensuring the integrity of all vehicles listed on the National Vehicle and Identification Scheme database.

He claims that “the annual proof of ownership certificate complies with the legislative standards essential to accountability, security, and transparency inside the transportation network.

The Federal Government has implemented the issuance of an annual proof of ownership certificate for all registered automobiles in order to achieve this goal. Upon successful completion of the appropriate regulations and processes, this certificate will act as official evidence of a vehicle’s legal owners. Important details such as the vehicle’s registration information, including the license plate number, model, and year of manufacture, as well as the owner’s name and address, will be included in the POC.

“Having critically examined the difficulties in promoting the safety and security of lives and property through the issuance of POC nationally, and particularly in our dear state, the Joint Tax Board, JTB, adopted and made a resolution that proof of ownership be issued to motorists on an annual basis across the country in its communiqué issued at the conclusion of the emergency meeting held on May 9, 2023. Beginning in July 2023, the Lagos State Government will start collecting the POC charge from drivers.

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest Law, NBA-SPIDEL, has assembled a team to investigate the legality of the Federal Government’s imposition of a N1,000 annual proof of ownership fee on vehicle owners as Nigerians continued to respond, with many criticizing the move and others applauding it.

John Aikpokpo-Martins and Funmi Adeogun, the chairman and secretary of NBA-SPIDEL, issued a joint statement that read in part: “Pursuant to our mandate as the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest Litigation and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), which among other things is to defend the interest of the public against oppressive and illegal policies of public authorities, as well as the overall objective of the NBA to defend the rights of the people, we

The statement also named Kunle Edun, Francis Ogunbowale, Maxwell Opara, Felix Akpowowo, Adeola Folarin, Ibrahim Al-Hussein, and Izu Aniagu as members of the NBA-SPIDEL’s legal team. “Ikeazor Akaraiwe, SAN, remains the consultant to the team,” the statement continued.

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