Lagosians celebrated when Governor Ambode declared that the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) have been permanently banned from operating on the roads.

With the restriction of FRSC officials also, our initial suspicion was that Ambode was empowering the equally notorious LASTMA to continue from where VIO stopped its random arrest of motorists.

We heard the talk of enhancing the VIO’s operation with technology but that did not seem different from the usual government talk but alas! Ambode meant business.

Bounce News took a trip to the Ojodu-Berger office of the VIO and realized that registering your vehicle or renewing your papers is no more business as usual.

The newly built computerized vehicle inspection centre is up and running and physical inspection of your vehicles is now compulsory if you wish to drive it on Lagos roads.

The days when VIO issued your car a ‘road worthiness certificate’ without seeing the car is gone.

We took a trip round the beautiful facility and had an operator of the garage explain their operations to us.

The fees vary, based on your vehicle type and class. You provide vehicle details, make electronic payment on the spot and surrender your vehicle for transfer to the testing arena.

The entire process is not supposed to take more than 30 mins and you have an air-conditioned lounge to relax and watch the men at work while you wait for your inspection report.

“You have two things over here. If you pass, you get an inspection report and your certificate but if you fail you only get an inspection report which explains everything wrong with your vehicle.

“You will be given 30 days to fix it and if you come back within those 30 days you will not pay additional fees but if the deadline elapses you will pay another vehicle inspection fee,” the operation official told us.

Parts of the vehicles that will be tested include brakes, steering, chasis attachments, emission, lights, timing belt, alignment, tyres, shock absorber etc.  

The same facility is in operation in Ikorodu and the official assured us that five more will be opened by the end of 2017, and in three years all 57 local governments in Lagos will have one computerized vehicle inspection centre.

While commissioning the facility in April 2017, the state government stated that the inspection of all vehicles, in line with international best practices, is important in Africa’s fastest growing mega-city.

So, why would VIO want to be under the sun looking to arrest motorists with fake road-worthiness certificates when the system now makes faking the road worthiness certificate difficult?

This is indeed a rebranded VIO and if all goes according to plan, the officials would be much busier running the processes involved in helping your vehicle remain safe for you and other road users.

The best part of this is that with your inspection report you can walk up to your mechanic and confidently tell him what to fix, no trial and error.