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Regional News of Saturday, 16 August 2008

Source: GNA

Minister inaugurates new DVLA office at Bekwai

Kumasi, Aug 16, GNA - Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Transportation, has inaugurated a 283,944 Ghana-cedi district office for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) at Bekwai in the Amansie East District. The office, which will cater for Amansie East, Central and Adansi North districts, was funded from the DVLA's internally generated fund.

This brings to four the DVLA's offices in the Ashanti Region. They rest are in Obuasi, Mampong, Agona and Bekwai. Dr Anane said the government had expanded the nation's road network from 32,000 kilometres in 2001 to 62,000 kilometres. He said the road condition mix has also improved from 27 per cent good, 17 per cent fair and 56 per cent poor in 2001 to 46 per cent good, 35 per cent fair and 19 per cent poor in 2007. The Minister said the improvement in the road sector would be meaningless if drivers did not possess the requisite technical understanding to drive and vehicles lack the technical attributes of road worthiness. Dr Anane said the DVLA's offices in Greater Accra and Ashanti regions carried out over 67 per cent of work and were left in very bad shapes with unsafe and unkempt environment which had no waiting areas for customers. He commended the Board of Directors, Management and staff of the Authority for their hard work which had made DVLA to be acclaimed as a success and counted among the best performing organizations in West Africa.

Mr Joe Osei-Owusu, the Chief Executive of DVLA, said the five-year plan he initiated had led to a reform of an otherwise moribund public sector organisation to an international repute. He said the Automation of Drivers Licensing Systems, the introduction of the On-Site-Bank, the licensing of private garages to undertake vehicle testing for roadworthiness and the nearly completed Automation of Vehicle Registration Records as achievements made under the plan.

Mr Osei-Owusu said the Authority has acquired its own building for 900,000 dollars and is spending additional 500,000 dollars to rehabilitate and remodel for use as a national headquarters while a permanent residence for the Chief Executive was almost completed and ready for use at the cost of 350,000 dollars, all funded with internally generated revenues of the Authority. He said three more district offices will be built next year at Obuasi, Techiman, Akim-Oda or Asamankese in addition to Tema and Winneba that are in progress.

He thanked Nana Kaakari Appau I, Omanhene of Bekwai for releasing land for the project free of charge to DVLA, adding "in every district that we acquire land we are charged commercial rates. The only difference has been Bekwai". Nana Kaakari Appau, who chaired the function, praised the government for the numerous development projects that are on-going in the Amansie East District especially the DVLA office which will serve Amansie Central and Adansi North districts which hitherto made people travel to either Obuasi or Kumasi to transact business.