Drivers and vehicle owners in Ghana have called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately set up a committee of enquiry to commission a full-scale investigation into the introduction of the new Smart Drivers Licence and Vehicle Registration Cards by the Drivers and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA).
The probe, according to them, has become a matter of importance because their checks have revealed that some top new officials of the DVLA, who are pushing for the introduction of the new biometric drivers’ licences, have their own machines to print the biometric licences for drivers.
According to them, although the Ministry of Transport has directed the DVLA to immediately suspend the introduction of the Smart Drivers Licence and Vehicle Registration Cards scheduled to take effect on July 18, 2017, it was necessary for the government to investigate the DVLA. The ministry said that the two projects should be suspended until the necessary approvals have been sought.
This was stated in a letter dated June 14, 2017 and signed by Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah. The letter was addressed to the Chief Executive of DVLA, Mr. Kwasi Agyemang Busia, and copied to the Vice-President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, and Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo. In the letter, the minister explained that “I wish to refer you to the discussion I had with you on the subject for which drew your attention to the need to obtain approval from the Ministry and Cabinet before implementation of such major projects.”
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority had indicated that it will start issuing new biometric driver’s licences from July 18, 2017. The Chief Executive Officer for the DVLA, Kwesi Agyeman Busia, said that the new license was aimed at getting rid of fake licences and middlemen from the system. According to him, the new license would have enhanced security features and will contain a chip loaded with the holder’s biometric details.
“This will ensure that people who have made duplication an industry will have it extra difficult to duplicate the licences. It will be practically impossible as it will have enhanced security,” Mr. Busia disclosed. But the transport minister has asked the DVLA to submit a memorandum on the project to his outfit to enable him undertake some consultations and seek the necessary approval from Cabinet.
Meanwhile, a group, calling themselves, the Concerned Drivers Association, has threatened to stage a demonstration on July 10, 2017 against the government for the planned introduction of the new Smart Drivers Licence and Vehicle Registration Cards. According to the drivers, the Smart Drivers Licence would cost GHC450. The DVLA has indicated that the new license will cost but it is yet to provide figures.