NTSA reveals materials for making number plates problem is over

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After a long tussle finally the car clearance backlog at Mombasa port will be resolved in five days, NTSA has said.

Director general Francis Meja admitted the situation was caused by the lack of material for making number plates. He said in a statement today that NTSA has taken measures to ensure no further delays in release of cars from the port.

“We would like to assure Kenyans that the challenge faced in production of new car number plates has since been resolved,” he said.

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He thanked Kenyans for their patience adding that vehicle buyers will now have their merchandise cleared promptly.

Car buyers had sounded an alarm over the shortage, delaying clearance of vehicles at the Container Freight Stations.More than 6,000 imported second-hand vehicles were at container freight stations in Mombasa over delayed clearance.

The imported second-hand vehicles were lying at container freight stations in Mombasa waiting for the troubled National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to issue their number plates.

A file photo of imported cars at the Mombasa port. /FILE

“The 6,493 units are attracting storage charges of Sh 19.4 million a day as the shortage of plates hit the dealers, Car Importers Association of Kenya chairman Peter Otieno revealed.

“CFS charges an average of Sh 3,000 per vehicle a day, an expense the importer should not incur because they have paid import duty and port charges. This means that new car owners are being overburdened by NTSA’s inefficiencies,” he said, adding that the authority delivered 500 plates for the D series under the KCN number (KCN ***D) on a Wednesday.

“We registered the D series in December, before Christmas. So far registration has been done up to K series. Given that each has 999 vehicles, this means 6,493 units don’t have the plates,” said Mr Otieno.

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“We know that the numbers are made at Kamiti prison but that is a third party and the authority should look for a way of dealing with them.”

Then Kenya Auto Bazaar Association executive officer Charles Munyori accused NTSA of perpetuating corruption in the issuing of number plates.

Mr Munyori claimed that officers at the agency were asking for bribes before releasing new plates. “Right now the plates are scarce but if you approach an officer with Sh4,000 you will get one. They keep blaming the Prisons for not making enough plates but that’s not the problem,” he said.

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