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05.03.2006 Business & Finance

Government approves DVLA's automation


Koforidua, March 5, GNA - Government has given approval for a World Bank funded Road Sector Development Project for the automation of vehicle registration and the issuance of new driving licenses nationwide, beginning this year.

Motorcycles are also to be assigned new distinctive numbers that would distinguish them from other motor vehicles to help stop the situation where some motorcycle owners sell their number plates to uncustomed vehicle owners to help them evade taxes and avoiding the mandatory registration formalities.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Mr Joe Osei-Owusu said the new measures were aimed at improving the Authority's service to the public and retool itself for better delivery.

Speaking at the first 2006 quarterly meeting of the Authority at Koforidua on Saturday, he said the re-registration of motorcycles had become necessary because of their high-disposal rate, which, he said, normally gave rise to "redundant registration numbers." The automation of vehicle licensing, which he said was to be carried out in three phases with the first commencing at the Accra and Tema offices of the DVLA, formed part of remedial actions being taken to rid the road-licensing sector of irregularities.

Experts have cited irregularities in the vehicle registration system that enabled unqualified individuals to hold driving licenses as contributing factor to the increasing incidence of motor accidents in Ghana.

Mr Osei-Owusu explained that the issuance of the new license cards with enhanced in-built security safeguards, which were to replace those issued in 2000, would enable the authority to be ahead of hackers and ensure the integrity of its system.

He said the new cards would be issued to drivers whose old cards had expired and first-time drivers needing a license and therefore stressed the need for the public not to make any mad-rush for the new cards but wait until their old licenses had elapsed. Mr Osei-Owusu demanded impeccable service from his staff to ensure that the replacement exercise was not fraught with any difficulties especially the alleged connivance of some workers with middlemen to issue unauthorised or fake licenses.

He said the Authority had engaged the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration to review the existing structure and conditions of service for workers of the DVLA.

Dwelling on some statistics, Mr Osei-Owusu said the Authority collected some 59 billion cedis as revenue last year, which was a shortfall of five per cent. During the period under review, the Authority inspected some 461,843 vehicles as compared to 442,885 inspected in 2004 to ensure compliance by vehicle owners to its regulations.