Nigeria’s Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) may have stirred human rights controversy when it said yesterday that commercial driver’s licences would no longer be issued to applicants below the age of 25 years.
Disclosing this, the Lagos State Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Nseobong Akpabio, said that the step was intended to get rid of underage drivers and sanitise the profession.
Commercial drivers licences are given to drivers of trucks and taxis.
“An underage commercial driver has no commitment and may see driving as one of those jobs that could be toyed with. Many road crashes, especially with articulated vehicles, were usually traced to motor-boy drivers, who were without experience,” Akpabio told journalists.
Akpabio appealed to transport unions, parents, as well as passengers, to assist the FRSC in checking underage drivers in order to achieve the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Safer Road Users.
“Road crash involving a commercial bus may jeopardise the existence or progress of 10 families and if it involved freight vehicle, it will affect the progress of the company.
“Drivers are very important as they can either mar or make a person, because if there is safe arrival, goals and aims can be achieved, but in a reversed case, such goals and aims have been cut short,” he said.
He said that the approved minimum age of 25 years for obtaining commercial driver’s licence would help in checking road crashes usually caused by underage drivers.
He urged commercial drivers to start processing their licence now to avoid last minute rush, adding that they should avoid patronising touts and go through the normal process of obtaining the product.
The new commercial driver’s licence – Class-E — was flagged off in Lagos on December 31, 2012, to identify underage and unqualified drivers.
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