Monday, June 10, 2019

The Vehicle Quota - A State Sponsored Crime

The KUENSEL of 6th June, 2019 reporting on the issue the Vehicle Quota writes as follows:

“The Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and equivalent positions, members of parliament, and term-based appointments also have an option to monetize their vehicle quota for Nu.1.5 million (M).

The introduction of such options comes with certain conditions. The finance ministry will strictly enforce that the vehicle quota shall not be transferred/sold, the quotable holder shall be liable to pay the applicable taxes and duties on the original CIF value of the vehicle……..”.

I am not too clear on what is being said – but I get the sense that what this means is that the above named posts are being allowed vehicle quota with an option to monetize them, should they choose to. But what is coming through very clearly is that these select beneficiaries will be monitored by the Finance Ministry and the vehicle quota rule will be enforced “strictly”.

We already have a vehicle quota rule in place, since many decades – the most recent one being the one that was revised in 2014 under the PDP government. Therefore it is not correct to speak as if the rule was never there. Please read about the rule at the following:

Since the vehicle quota came into being from the mid 70’s, thousands of vehicle quota entitlements have been issued. And we all know - the RAA, the ACC, the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader, the Chief Justice, the Chief of Police - even the rat catcher in the streets - that the bulk of the quotas would have been sold with impunity. These people knew very well that they were breaking a law - but that did not prevent them from committing the crime. And yet, think of one incident where a criminal has been charged for the crime of selling the vehicle quota - not a single one to date!

Therefore please do not say that the Ministry of Finance will this time be able to curtail this shameful crime that is becoming a state sponsored corruption. If you think this “strict Finance Ministry enforcement” will change anything, you are mistaken. Please read the following and wisen up!

During the talk I gave to 48 guide trainees few weeks back, I had said that it is simple to be yourself – you cannot make a mistake in being what you naturally are. It is when you try to be someone else whom you are not, the trouble begins. Let us therefore understand ourselves and design our regulations accordingly.

It is for this reason I believe that the only way to effectively fight “fronting” and “undercutting” is to bring some morality into our value system. If not our endeavors will continue to remain a challenge forever. Remember that the malice that is fronting has been in existence since the advent of modernity. The battle to eradicate fronting is not new - we have not succeeded so far because the most unexpected of them are into it.

Consider this:
The first thing the lawmakers - the MPs - do is begin their law making journey by committing an act of crime - selling their vehicle quota. The first thing the civil servants do when they attain a P3A level, they start by breaking a law. Obviously not all do it - but more than most do it.

You know it would be interesting to go through the records of the Ministry of Finance and find out which of the quota receivers have received how many quota vehicles and where they are now. In fact it would be quite revealing to know which persons took how many quota allocation letters in their life time - nothing of malice - merely an exercise in academia.

We would all provably be shocked at the findings!

I urge the DNT government and the present set of law makers to monetize all the vehicle quota entitlements - if they believe that we have the financial resources to do so. But there should be no quota system at all.

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