Yinka Oladejo, a clearing and forwarding agent shares his harrowing experience in the hands of corrupt Federal Road Safety Officials who extorted him many times in his bid to clear a car which is part of his job.
He spoke exclusively to The Vent Republic and below is the unbiased account.
When Babatunde Raji Fashola, the current Minister for Works and Housing was the Governor of Lagos State between 2007 and 2015, he introduced Wharf landing fees for every vehicle coming from the port. The rate was 300 naira for cars and 500 naira for SUV’s and buses. Once you pay, you get a corresponding sticker.
There are two ports in Lagos – Apapa Wharf and Tin Can Island. About 98% of vehicles that come into Nigeria through the Lagos port passes through the Tin Can port.
There are only two exits to Tin can, Coconut Bridge towards Mile 2 and Liverpool Bridge towards Apapa GRA. Liverpool axis is under construction so every vehicle has to go through Coconut bridge towards Mile 2.
Last week Tuesday, April 20, he wanted to deliver a just cleared vehicle to the owner after he had tipped three sets of policemen 200 naira each, two sets of touts 100 naira each and Wharf landing fees popularly known as Fashola at 300 naira.
When he was about to get to Mile 2, he met a team of road safety officers – twenty of them asking for the Lagos state tag and he gladly pointed at the Fashola tag. The next thing they asked was how much did I pay to get the tag and he replied 300 naira and he immediately ran to their commanding officer.
The commanding officer said the price was 3000 naira and he took him to the station. One of them entered into the car and Yinka asked him how the tag looked like. It was at that point he realized that none of them knew how the tag actually looked like. On getting to their office, they said he should go and get the tag before his car would be released to him.
They claimed that the tag had been in existence since January 18 this year and no awareness was created to that effect. Another man who was arrested said he thought that tags were issued at the FRSC licensing office only for them to call the commander in charge who directed him to the appropriate place to get the tag.
After Yinka got the tag, he went back to the FRSC office and they told him he would have to pay 3200 naira for a fine and 500 naira to collect his key back.
As we write his car has not yet been released to him and this is greatly affecting his business.
We call on the relevant authorities to critically address this mind boggling corruption among FRSC officials who are maintained at tax payers’ expense and are supposed to be servants of the people.