SIM re-registration exercise: MP hopeful of extension of the exercise

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The Vice Chair of the Communications Committee of Parliament, Sylvester Tetteh, says he does not think a deadline for the SIM card re-registration is a wise decision.

Mr. Tetteh, in an interview, however, said the only thing they can do as a committee was to make pleas to the Ministry of Communications for an extension of the deadline.

“We can only make an appeal to the Ministry of Communications for an extension of the deadline, which I am quite hopeful that the ministry will take into consideration and extend it as they did the last time,” Mr. Tetteh said.

“Until the Majority of Ghanaians or almost everybody has a Ghana Card, you can’t put a deadline on the SIM card re-registration,” Mr. Tetteh who is also the MP for the Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro constituency added.

The government set July 31 as the deadline for all persons to re-register their SIM cards with their Ghana Cards.

People who fail to comply with the directive will have their SIM cards deactivated.

The regulations are to help law enforcement agencies to identify SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb phone theft, hate text messaging, mobile fraud activities and SIM Box fraud.

They are to also help identify subscribers for the use of value-added services such as mobile banking, mobile money and electronic payment services.

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However, not all Ghanaians have been able to secure their Ghana Card.

The National Identification Authority has indicated that 15,702,719 cards have been issued while 808,493 cards have been printed but not issued.

The Minority in Parliament has urged the President to intervene in the matter and one of its members, Sam George, said he was still concerned that the SIM Registration Regulations, 2011 (LI 2006) was being misinterpreted.

Mr. George argues that the law does not make the Ghana Card the sole card for SIM Card re-registration.

“If the intent of the law was that it would be the sole card in the law, you would have seen it in the letter and spirit of the law.”

Ultimately, Mr. George said a deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards was a mistake.

“An extension in itself will not fix this problem… the Ministry should learn from the mistakes of our neighbours. It has been three years and Nigeria is still doing the registration of sim cards,” he said.

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