Lagos VIOs Harass Motorists, Allege Fake Insurance
In spite of the warning issued by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State that Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) should desist from harassing motorists, the officials have continued to harass motorists alleging all motor insurance certificates are not genuine.
Governor Ambode had in June warned VIOs to stop harassing motorists and forcing themselves into vehicles of motorists.
Without using the mobile verification devices given them by the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), our correspondent confirmed that officials of VIOs are now in the habit of stopping motorists and pronounce their insurance certificates as fake.
It was recently that the NIA handed over mobile verification devices to officials of Lagos state government as part of efforts to ensure that motorists have genuine insurance cover.
The mobile device is a product of the Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) introduced by the NIA so that it would be easy for law enforcement agents to confirm the genuineness of motor insurance certificates, using the mobile device, at any point in time, anywhere in the country.
However, what the VIOs are now doing is that once they stopped any vehicle, they will look at the vehicle particulars and if all the documents are okay, officials of VIO will say the insurance certificate is fake even without verification, our correspondent who had an encounter with the VIOs affirmed.
He said the officials of VIO are also not congnisant of the fact that vehicle owners are at liberty to buy insurance cover from any insurance company of their choice, as they said any motorist without a genuine insurance cover will have to go and buy it from their office.
The NIA officially launched the NIID portal in June 2012.
Once a vehicle is insured and its details are uploaded on the NIID, it is now very easy to confirm whether the motor insurance document is genuine or not with the aid of mobile gadgets given to the law enforcement agents.
Before it was deployed in Lagos, the device has already been in use in Ogun state and Abuja.
The NIID has now been extended to marine insurance to put an end to incidence of fake insurance in this class of business.
Source: daily independent