KEY NOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY H.E. DR. MAHAMUDU BAWUMIA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCH OF SMART CARDS FOR DRIVER’S LICENSE AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION ON THE 7TH OF NOVEMBER, 2017 AT THE FORECOURT OF THE DVLA HEAD OFFICE.
Nana Otuo Siriboe, Chairman of the Council of State
Hon. Minister of Interior, The Inspector General of Police, The Executive Secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Board and management of DVLA, MDs and CEOs here present, Partners from the Transport Unions, The media, Ladies and gentlemen. It is with great pleasure that I stand here today to deliver this key-note address to mark the launch of two new products by the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority – the Smart Driver’s Licence and the Smart Vehicle Registration Card.
Let me also join others, on behalf of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to congratulate all those who have worked tirelessly to ensure the realization of these Smart Cards and, of course, those who continue to support the DVLA as it carries out its mandate.
Let me specifically mention Rt. Hon. Joe Osei-Wusu, the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who is also a former CEO of DVLA who laid a strong foundation for the Authority during his tenure. I also wish to express appreciation to all past CEOs who during the tenure of the previous administration worked at this project. The current management of DVLA ably led by Mr. Kwasi Agyeman Busia have also continued the effort to enhance service delivery by the DVLA, and today, we stand here to witness some results from that agenda by the launch of these two products, the Smart Driver’s Licence and the Smart Vehicle Registration Card.
With these two products, the paperless revolution has arrived at the DVLA
Ladies and Gentlemen, road transportation facilitates the movement of people, goods and services in all sectors of the economy, including tourism, mining, trade, health, education and agriculture, among others.
It is estimated that road transportation carries approximately ninety-eight per cent (98%) of the passengers and freight traffic in the country, with available information indicating that the national targets for growth and poverty reduction rely heavily on the effectiveness of this sector.
At the heart of this system lies the vehicles we drive and those who drive them. This allocates an even more critical role to DVLA in our national development and growth efforts.
There's no doubt we face a number of challenges, many of them inter-related. There are fake licences, fake roadworthy stickers, fake number plates and fake documents. All these lead to security threats and massive revenue shortfalls to government.
There are also problems that people encounter when trying to obtain a driver’s licence or even to renew an existing drivers licence. Not too long ago my good friend Jon Benjamin, former British High Commissioner to Ghana, on his return to England, went and renewed his drivers licence, and then posted on Facebook, and told us how easy it was for him to do in England, and therefore was giving us an uppercut. It was a subtle jab at us, and I did take it personal. And so today I would like to say to Jon Benjamin that change has come, and I would like to invite him to come and test our services at DVLA again.
With this new process that has been put in place at DVLA with these two smart cards, it means that practically, it should take anybody a maximum of two to three weeks to obtain a licence in Ghana. And once you’ve passed your test, if you opt for the premium service, you should get your licence in one day. That is remarkable progress.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme for today’s launch, “Transforming Driver ad Vehicle Licencing through People, Processes and Technology”, summarises what DVLA has done in the past months and years. Beginning with the introduction of these Smart Cards, DVLA must immediately move to providing secure payment options with several variations to its clients. We heard the MIS Director say that this will soon be done.
His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been categorical about his unwavering desire to see this country’s economy transform under his leadership and we are working day and night to ensure this happens to the benefit of the people of Ghana who have reposed their confidence in the government.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as part of the transformation agenda, we have set out to ensure the formalization of the economy.
Several initiatives have been taken in this direction to ensure every Ghanaian and foreigner resident in Ghana is appropriately identified in this country and offered unparalleled opportunities to do business in Ghana.
We have launched the National Identification Project, The Paperless Port Project, E-Procurement at the Public Procurement Authority, E-Business Registration and Certification at the Registrar General’s, the National Digital Property Addressing System, and today, the Smart Driver’s Licence and Vehicle Registration Cards. Ghana is definitely on the road to modernisation.
All these initiatives are expected to operate collaboratively to ensure Ghana becomes the preferred place of doing business in Africa and beyond.
And as the CEO of DVLA mentioned, we have asked them to ensure there is constant innovation in their operations, and the Ghanaian or foreigner who is eligible to drive or wants to register his vehicle does so under optimal conditions. I am looking forward to an effective, efficient and sustainable DVLA in the months ahead.
If we achieve these, which I believe we can, our road transportation sector would witness a huge transformation.
The DVLA is one of the early adopters in the public-sector drive to provide digital services. A few year ago, it begun digitizing driver and vehicle registration records and the public sector is being encouraged by the government to adopt such steps and provide digital services for users as this will save on time and money.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me say unequivocally, that I fully support any effort to make our public sector efficient, effective and devoid of corruption. Indeed, it fits into government’s anti-corruption agenda and I can promise you that the government will get the public sector institutions to make the necessary adjustments including making electronic payment, the default form of receiving taxes, levies and fees.
The next decade should see a complete transformation of Ghana’s driver licencing and vehicle registration system that radically changes how citizens and foreigners are licenced to drive and drive safely and how registration of vehicles and related equipment is done across the country. The DVLA must offer superior services to the public and financial inclusion should be optimal and majority of us should be using electronic payment channels regularly.
After 60 years of independence, it can no longer be business as usual. We all must roll our sleeves and work to transform our country.
We owe it a duty to bequeath to the younger generation, a Ghana that we can all be proud of, a Ghana that has enough jobs for its citizens, a Ghana that gives opportunities to its citizens, and a Ghana that is truly the shining star of Africa.
DVLA has taken an important step in this direction for all of us, and it is with great pleasure, and a big honour to launch on behalf of the President, the Smart Cards for Driver’s License and Vehicle Registration.
May God bless our efforts as we seek to make our Homeland Ghana great and strong.
Thank you very much for your attention.