MIDDLEMEN popularly called ‘goro boys’ operating around the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) offices near 37, in Accra say they should not to be blamed for their involvement in the processing of driving licences and road worthy certificates at the authority.
According to them, they are approached daily by drivers and vehicle owners including public office holders to help facilitate the processing of their documents for them.
Speaking on condition of anonymity in an interview with The Ghanaian Times on Friday, they claimed the bureaucracy and undue delay force their clients to fall on them for assistance and since that was where they get their daily bread, they had no option than to help them.
But DVLA warns that it would clamp down on them this month.
The ‘goro boys’ claimed their work was like ‘akpeteshie’ and that though it had not been advertised in the mass media, people still patronised their services
“Have you ever seen ‘akpeteshie’ being advertised before, yet people patronise it so is our work,” they said.
They also alleged that some clients, especially workers, consider the long queues and delays associated with the acquisition of the road worthy stickers and renewal of driving licences and therefore, rely on them for assistance.
“We should not be the target, the blame should go to the public especially drivers, car owners including public office holders who approach us”, they stressed, saying in as much as they wanted to desist from the act, they were often approached by individuals to assist them.
The Ghanaian Times findings revealed that the ‘goro boys’ who used to operate within the premises of the DVLA have pitched camp near the 37 Goil Filling Station, the Police Church and around the DVLA offices in Accra, Weija, Tema and other parts of the country.
When contacted, some drivers at the Kaneshie station, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, told this paper that they had people who come for their documents at the station for renewal.
They cited the lack of time and conditions of their vehicles as some of the factors that forced them to resort to middlemen.
“We fear that our vehicles would be intercepted because of their bad conditions,” they said.
The Chief Executive Officer of DVLA, Mr. Rudolph P.K. Beckley, told The Ghanaian Times that the activities of such unscrupulous people had been a headache to the authority, warning that his outfit was determined to flush them out.
He said some women were part of the gang, noting that a swoop conducted last year together with the security agencies, revealed their involvement in the act.
At the Accra offices alone, Mr. Beckley said, eight of such swoops were conducted, while at the Weija and Tema offices, six operations each were carried out saying a number of the suspects had been put before court and either fined or jailed.
He said, in order to halt the activities of the ‘goro boys’, the DVLA introduced a number of interventions to check them.
For instance, he said, apart from the introduction of electronic stickers, DVLA had also initiated online process where prospective persons could apply and make other enquiries without necessarily going to the offices of the DVLA.
Besides, the authority had introduced a service charter to expedite action on the demands of clients.
“The DVLA has also put up electronic boards all over DVLA offices providing information on the processes that clients should go through without resorting to middlemen,” he said.