By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
THE Minister of Transport, Mr Mike Hammah, has paid a familiarisation visit to the Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) offices in Kumasi to acquaint himself with their operations.
He took time to visit all the sections within the regional office and encouraged staff to work hard.
Speaking at a meeting with staff of the regional office, Mr Hammah stressed the need for the management to take initiative to arrest the massive faking of vehicle and driver documents in the system.
He said the rate at which fake driver and vehicle documents were circulating in the system was a source of concern to his ministry.
The minister stated that at a time the government was working hard on the road sector to play a real catalytic role in the nation’s development agenda, it was important that negative practices in the system were eliminated.
“Fake documents are causing accidents on continuous basis and I will like the DVLA, in spite of its challenges, to rise up and nib the canker in the bud,” he said.
Mr Hammah said the ministry was working hard at expanding the automation of the DVLA’s activities as a way of addressing the menace in the long-run.
The minister, who inspected various sections of the Kumasi office to acquaint himself with their operations, said indicated that the ministry had put in place short to medium-term actions to remove faulty disabled vehicles from the roads.
Currently, he said the few companies engaged in towing faulty disabled vehicles from the road were not up to the task and efforts were being made to bring more companies on board.
Mr Hammah also stated that the government was initiating measures to improve the road network in the country
He, however, noted that good roads alone could not eliminate road accidents if the people who used the roads did not adhere to road safety regulations.
The minister pointed out that the country’s quest to achieve middle-income status by the targeted 2020 would not materialise if “we continue to disregard basic laws of the land.”
According to him, it was regrettable that the nation was losing about $165 million annually through road accidents when the amount could have been channelled into development projects.
Mr Hammah disclosed that the rehabilitation of the Kumasi-Ejisu rail lines would commence this year as indicated in the budget statement.
Besides, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was sourcing for funds to rehabilitate the eastern corridor rail line, all with the hope of improving transportation in t he country.
He indicated that the Ghana Railway Company (GRC) was being repackaged to meet the challenges of the time.
“We want to bring competition to the rail system and already, a lot of interests have been shown, which is good for us,” he added.
Welcoming the minister, the Ashanti Regional Director of the DVLA, Mr N. Martey, stated that his office was up to the task in spite of the challenges.