General News of Thursday, 10 April 2014
The Tiger Eye undercover investigations into licensing racketeering at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) appear to have put fear in some officials of the authority, while others are undaunted and damned the consequences.
Dominic Moses Awiah, who visited some offices of the DVLA Wednesday, reports that the situation was the same as it was before the investigations at the Weija branch, as some officials continued to issue licences to unqualified individuals who were willing and ready to pay a specified amount.
One of the officials at the place took time to explain how the process worked at the DVLA if one wanted to use the ‘short route’ to secure a driver’s licence.
“We have two ways. One is to write an examination on the Internet for a fee of GH¢150 and the other is to write an examination for a fee of GH¢500. But I can tell you that it’s not easy to pass either of these examinations,” he said.
“The other means is to pay between GH¢600 and GH¢800 without having to write any examination or going through any rigorous process of acquiring a licence,” the official, who gave his name as Freddie Acquaye, further elaborated.
He said if one wanted to use the normal process, it would take one about three months to get a licence, but if one wanted him to handle it, then one could get one’s licence within a month,” he said.
The situation was, however, different at the 37 Military Hospital branch, where officials refused to entertain any external dealings with individual who showed up expecting to acquire a licence outside the normal processes.
Apparently, the Tiger Eye investigations had brought about so much tension at the premises that no official was willing to go beyond the original arrangement of licence acquisition.
However, of the eight officials the Daily Graphic spoke to, one of them expressed slight interest in doing things differently from the normal process.
He demanded GH¢400 to assist this reporter to acquire a licence without writing any examination or going through any “frustrating difficulties”.
Activities of Goro Boys
Most of the middlemen, popularly called “Goro boys”, had been sent out of the premises of the institution.
They were warned not to approach any person who came to the place to transact business.
Nevertheless, they were still willing and ready to assist any individual who expressed interest in acquiring a licence without having to undergo any rigorous processes.
From Kumasi, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports that the activities of the ‘Goro boys’ at the DVLA’s Kumasi office continued unabated, in spite of the call on the public to desist from using their services.
It was business as usual when the Daily Graphic visited the Ashanti Regional office of the authority yesterday.
Some of the middlemen, who acted in connivance with staff of the authority, were stationed in front of the premises, with others inside.
It was learnt that people were still looking for licences without having to go through the established processes.
For instance, while the official cost for acquiring a driver’s licence was about GH¢190, a middleman charged GH¢400 for the same licence.
When the Daily Graphic feigned interest in acquiring a licence, a security man at the DVLA said, “You just need to see those who invigilate the examination to assist you to pass.”
It was observed that a taxi driver whose road worthiness certificate had expired had sent his booklet to the place without the vehicle but managed to get the certificate renewed.
All he had to do was to call a member of staff of the authority to meet him to pick his booklet and do the renewal for him.
Benjamin Xornam Glover writes from Tema that the Tema office of the DVLA experienced an unusual calm in the early hours of Wednesday.
The usual busy movement of ‘goro‘ boys was absent, but there were vehicles parked waiting to be tested, while testing officers physically examined them one after another.
Officers at their various duty posts went about their work, while various clients who had gone there were seen queuing up to be attended to.
Some of the clients who had gone to transact business were spotted seated in queues leading to some offices, including the licence, the capture and the eye testing rooms.
Vehicle inspectors were also spotted conducting inspection of saloon cars and motorcycles.
Some clients who spoke to the Daily Graphic acknowledged that some officials took money from them to facilitate the processes for them.
“I know it’s not good but this is Ghana and you need to offer something little in order to have the process quickened for you so you can leave here on time,” one client who pleaded anonymity said.
Another client said he was told that even if he was to sit for the practical driving examination 100 times, he would be failed until he parted with some money before getting the licence.
He said under the circumstance, he had no option but to part with GH¢400 to obtain the licence.
From Ho, Mary Anane reports that technical officers at the DVLA offices appeared to be doing the right thing by explaining procedures to clients.
When work started about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the personnel sought to deal with only persons who had come to transact official business.
This reporter was, however, handicapped in the Ewe language and could not understand some discussions as some of the officials discussed yesterday’s Daily Graphic story on investigations at the DVLA.