THE Ministry of Infrastructure Traffic Office will extend office hours to Saturday commencing this week from 9am-1pm as an initiative to achieving its $10 million revenue collection.
It is also to allow more time for the public, including civil servants to comply with road safety measures. Drivers are being urged to renew their driver’s license, vehicle quarterly registration and pay road fitness warranty fees.
Yesterday, the MOI Minister, Hon ‘Etuate Lavulavu said paying these fees would help with their effort to achieve 10 million revenue collection targets.
Hon. Lavulavu said over 1 million revenue was collected by the ministry’s Traffic Division for its third quarter of the year.
The amount collected is a record in over 15 years that was raised in a three month period from July to September 2015.
This is a big jump from a normal revenue collection of up to $70,000 in the same period.
Hon. Lavulavu said the Traffic Office now collects up to $50,000 revenue a day in comparing to $10,000 in the previous years.
Lavulavu attributed the upward trend to the extension of MOI office opening hours from 8:30am-4:30pm since the beginning of the year.
“MOI changed its customer service approach to revenue collection where we encourage customers to freely come forward and pay their drivers license fees, vehicle quarterly license and road fitness warranty… We get good revenue when we extend office hours,” explained Lavulavu.
Ha’apai 2 Noble Representative also reckoned the good work of the Police Traffic Division played an important role in the upward trend in MOIs revenue collection.
“The great effort by the Police Traffic Department should be acknowledged for conducting check points and issuing spot fine on traffic violations helps people to comply with the Traffic Act,” explained Lord Tu’iha’angana.
Hon. Lavulavu thanked the police effort and mentioned that MOI and the Ministry of Police have been working closely since the beginning of the year in ensuring road safety measures.
He also called on Police Traffic Division to continue the good work so MOI could achieve its
$10 million revenue collection target which in return very benefit to the people.
Hon. Lavulavu said in the current budget, $3 million was predicted as revenue collection by the Traffic Department and the rate they are going now it’s likely they will raise $10 million instead.
For that reason, Hon. Lavulavu urges the public to renew their driver’s license, quarterly license and road warranty fitness for it would benefit the country as a whole.
Parliament was also informed that only 26 percent have a driver’s licence meaning more people are driving without license in Tonga. Hon. Lavulavu urged drivers’ to renew their driving license.
The fee for renewal of driver’s license fee for one year is $60. Renewal of driver’s license for three years is $150 while it’s $240 for five years. This was effective in July this year.
He said over 16,000 registered vehicles are yet to be checked for road warranty fitness while no record of a plough registration with the MOI office in Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua.
The MOI Minister called on vehicle owners to come forward and pay their quarterly license as well.
“When you come and pay these fees, you also help with efforts to maintain and repair our roads. As of now we don’t have enough funding for road maintenance. It was proposed in the budget, but no fund allocation for it,” maintain the MOI Minister.
Hon Lavulavu also thanked the staff of MOI for their hard work despite the many challenges they face.