GNA feature by Mildred Siabi-Mensah
Takoradi, Feb. 15, GNA – It has been four years now since I first visited the Western Regional Office of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, first to interview the then Director and second to acquire a learners driver’s license for myself.
The sight of the office for any first time visitor back then was a big de-motivation and one would only have to endure just because you needed an approval on the roadworthy and to save yourself any confrontation from the law enforcement agencies.
First, the containers that the insurance companies operated from were scattered all over and clients hardly had anything called free movement coupled with activities of 'goro boys' or middle men which made patronage of DVLA services a difficult one.
THE FENCE WALL TRANSFORMATION
But four years down the memory lane, things have really changed and the western Regional office of the DVLA is becoming a friendly environment to most patrons on a daily basis.
Mr Emmanual Narh, the Western Regional Director of the DVLA and the man behind the massive transformation of the office told the Ghana News Agency that the first strategy for him was to close all illegal entry point into the facility, ensure proper demarcation of the land size in order to spearhead massive infrastructural development.
These illegal entries in the midst of an area classified as light industrial area (KOKOMPE) according to him, enhanced the activities of goro boys who on a day to day basis extorted monies from clients with the excuse of helping them to acquire the needed services.
“Before now, not a single day passed without complaints from a client of exhortation…we could record over 20 cases in a month, which indeed was worrying and therefore immediate action was needed to stem this bad tide”, he said.
Still on goro boys, the Director said some miscreants who were in that business of extortion were fortunately arrested and processed for court adding, "we quickly had to erect this fence wall to enhance security and prevent the spate of entry by these illegal dealers….now our staff have tags also to help identify who is a worker of DVLA and who is not”.
“Stopping the operations of these middlemen, he added had improved the revenue levels of the Authority since most of the loop-holes have almost been sealed.We are doing very well in terms of revenue generation taking away Ashanti and the Greater Accra region.
Meanwhile, all the scattered containers of insurance companies in the frontage of the DVLA had been relocated, but without opposition by the companies who initially did not buy into the new wind of change by the Regional Director.
Now hundreds of clients could comfortably park their vehicles in the newly created yard to transact business with the Authority and as a new driver, I could securely apply some manoeuvring skills to park and walk in to be served.
The Director tells me plans are underway to transform the whole area and to replace the 1990 antique and relics with a state of the art office and attachment such as conference halls, waiting rooms, places of convenience and a well-established internet connectivity and electronic client response system to avert situations where people jump queues and create unnecessary disruptions during working hours.
To him, the 1990 office structure had outlived its usefulness especially with the growth of industries such as the port, oil and gas and the mining industry, “I really had to put up a lobbying structure to get the entire structure transformed”.
Mr Narh is grateful to the many clients who continue to collaborate and reason with them in this transformational agenda, adding that we are improving and we are bent on doing the right things to ensure that this business environment is technically and physically conducive.
According to him, soil test had been run by the contractors to enable them choose the right materials for the next phase of the building and final resurfacing of the area with pavement blocks.
The Western Regional Office of the DVLA according to the Director is poised to position itself as an institution delivering the right kind of service in a congenial atmosphere comparable to any DVLA in the world.
“Our duty is to promote safety on the road…this we would not relent upon and these and other measures are all aimed at enhancing service delivery to ensure that drivers who ply the road were sound and fit for their job”, he added.