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Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent
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    Friday, 27 September 2013

    Senate set to dump police BCMR as lawmakers may debate motion today


    From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja

    The Senate is set to move against what it described as unauthorized introduction of the Biometric Central Motor Registration (BCMR) scheme by the police. Its opposition to the new Police BCMR is based on the rejection of same by the Presidency on two occasions.  Barring any change in plan, Chairman of the Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, may, today, move a motion that will formally reject the BCMR.
    The police recently commenced digital biometric registration which will capture the inventory of motorists and vehicles. Each motorist by the exercise, would pay N3,500 while tricycles, popularly called Keke NAPEP and motorbikes are to cough out N1,500 each.
    The motion would seek the nod of the Senate to suspend the BCMR and to comply with its earlier resolution of 2012. Senate’s rejection of the BCMR may largely be influenced by its opposition a to similar move by the police during the Obasanjo administration in 2004 and the government of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2008.
    The Obasanjo’s government’s committee headed by former Head of Service, Chief Ufot Ekaette, stated emphatically that existing laws do not empower the police to embark on the establishment of the ECMR.
    After consultations, Obasanjo accepted the Ekaette recommendations on the ECMR, as it was then proposed and dropped.
    The committee pointed out that the introduction of “the ECMR would amount to another form of tax” on hapless motorists and that there should be an enabling law to regulate its operations.
    In 2008, another proposal was forwarded to Yar’Adua and another presidential committee chaired by former Interior Minister, Maj. Gen. Godwin Abbe (retd.) recommended that, “the DCMR was another attempt to re-introduce the ECMR project that had earlier been abandoned.”
    The Abbe committee recommended that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) should be allowed to continue with its statutory duties and also recommended that its “databank on vehicles and drivers be strengthened and financed. The scheme required consolidation rather than duplication of functions to enable the police and any other relevant agency access the data.”
    Further checks indicate that the Kuta committee would remind the chamber that the Senate resolved vide S/Res/004/02/12 that “the police synergise its idea of biometric data collection and collaborate with respect of this with the FRSC who already have an existing data base and with who, they have always been relating with before now.”
    Aside asking for the suspension of the exercise, another prayer being sought in the motion is for the Senate to condemn “the persistent insensitivity and disregard for directives of government by the Nigeria Police at various times.”
    The police would be asked to suspend forthwith the digital BCMR scheme.

     Source: www.sunnewsonline.com

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