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FG unveils new vehicle registration scheme

As part of measures to ensure security and shore up revenue, the Federal Government has started a new vehicle registration system. The scheme has been flagged off in Lagos for pilot stage. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said the new National Vehicle Registry (VERG) was aimed at increasing national revenue, curbing smuggling and other criminal activities. She said VERG was the centralised database for all vehicles in Nigeria using their unique Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN), which stores detailed vehicular information such as specifications, ownership, and history of each vehicle in Nigeria.

Under this system, vehicle owners in the country are required to register their vehicles using their VIN on the VREG portal. Ahmed said the creation of this registry became necessary to tackle the menace of customs duty evasion, vehicle theft, vehicle- related crimes and ineffective vehicle insurance coverage, among others. Ahmed said this at the grand finale of the sensitisation seminar on VERG held at the ministry in Abuja. Quoting data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Ahmed said 45 per cent of vehicles were smuggled into Nigeria annually; thus, evading duty payment. She noted that 40 per cent of the vehicles were stolen.

The minister also regretted that a case study found that Nigeria was the hub of stolen vehicles as VIN of vehicles in the country were usually unregistered, consequently, vehicles within the shores of Nigeria cannot be traced. She said: “In a bid to address these challenges, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning launched the National Vehicle Registry (VREG), which is a national repository of vehicular information that seeks to provide a singular platform through which all relevant agencies shall reference vehicular data with a view of ascertaining ownership and value information, capturing vehicular exchanges and utilising the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of all vehicles in Nigeria. “Additional value is also accruable to the Federal Government, state governments and related agencies via this policy.

“Through this platform today, we are pleased to inform that the pilot phase of this project has commenced at the Nigeria Customs Service Kirikiri Lighter Terminal.” She informed that VERG will ensure enforceability of penalties placed on vehicles by regulators across board.

 

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