By Chris Njoku
The Government of Cross River in Collaboration with the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) has made moves to curb revenue leakages and over-taxation of motorists by flagging off the 2024 Motor Ordinance Test (MOT) in the state.
The flag-off of the MOT which was carried out in the complex of the State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was done in collaboration with both organisations on Monday in Calabar.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MOT was a national document issued to motorists annually as a certification for vehicle safety and roadworthiness.
Speaking to NAN on the document during its unveiling, Dr Paul Bepeh, Director of Road Traffic Services of VIO said the state decided to launch the document early because it was a national document.
According to him if the state does not launch it in time, other states would take advantage of it and make the revenue even meant for Cross River.
Reacting to the issue of making VIO and the state Ministry of Works responsible for the enforcement of the document, Bepeh said you don’t have to give out a government revenue point that the government had the capacity to handle to an individual.
“People are running away from Cross River because of taxation, this is why the governor in his wisdom said the MOT should go back to where it can be supervised.
“This means that we will not use touts to enforce this document because we have used touts in the past to enforce revenue collection and this has brought a very bad name to the government.
“Now in Cross River, there is only one department that has the right to interface with the road traffic rules and regulations and that is the Vehicle Inspection Department; we are to enforce, regulate it to ensure that government revenue gets to it.
He added that for 2024 they were trying to plug revenue leakages in the state by achieving and surpassing their financial target with the MOT, so all hands must be on deck.
On his part, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Mr Ankpo Pius said the MOT was a yearly ritual for motorists domiciled with the VIO while the VIO was domiciled in the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure for them to superintend.
Pius said the document was meant for all motorists because it gave them power to operate adding that those that refuse to get the document would have to pay a fine when apprehended.
He added that to check revenue leakages through duplication of the document by vendors, there would be an authorised seal of the head of VIO in the state.
However, Mr Emmanuel Etim, one of the MOT vendors who spoke to NAN said the revenue leakages were not usually from them as they were given a specific number of documents and returned a commensurate amount to the government.