SIM re-registration ends today; some subscribers demand further extension

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This Friday, September 30, 2022, marks the expiration of the extended deadline for SIM card re-registration.

The Communications and Digitalization Ministry has already created a list of sanctions against people who will miss the deadline, some of which started to take effect on September 5.

If the subscribers do not re-register the cards within six months of the deactivation, the subscribers’ SIM cards may be deactivated and their numbers may be allocated to someone else.

Some subscribers who could lose their subscriptions find the situation to be discouraging.

The government established a deadline for everyone to update their SIM card registration on their Ghana Cards.

The rules are intended to assist law enforcement authorities in tracking down criminals who use phones for illegal purposes, identifying SIM card owners, and reducing phone theft, mobile fraud, and SIM box fraud.

In order to employ value-added services like mobile banking, mobile money, and electronic payment systems, they must also assist in identifying customers.

Not all Ghanaians, however, have been able to obtain their Ghana Cards in order to complete the re-registration.

Some stakeholders claim that the action violates Ghanaians’ constitutional rights.

Numerous customers gathered in large numbers at the telecom companies’ locations to voice concern over the government’s retaliatory measures.

However, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has acknowledged that it is difficult to even register qualified individuals by the deadline for SIM card re-registration.

There are still roughly two million people who need to be registered who are 15 or older, according to the NIA Executive Secretary, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah. Physically speaking, it is not conceivable.

On July 31, the window for SIM card re-registration was extended; nevertheless, a month following the extension, the number of people who visited the offices of the network service providers to register their SIMs fell by 98%.

Sam George, a member of the Minority in Parliament, expressed continued worry about how the SIM Registration Regulations, 2011 (LI 2006) were being construed. The Minority in Parliament had pleaded with the President to step in and address the issue.

A group sued the National Communication Authority (NCA), requesting that the Supreme Court declare the registration deadline and the related sanctions for failure to register null and void.

The punitive sanctions, it was suggested, are unconstitutional.

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