TechInAfrica – The Ghanian government through the Ministry of Communication will require its citizens to re-register their SIM cards starting from January 1st to the end of June 2020. This statement was made by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful. According to the Minister, the unregistered SIM cards after the due date will result in the deactivation of the SIM cards.
“Any SIM card which is not registered will be deactivated by June 2020, giving a six-month time frame for this exercise. We entreat all citizens, residents, and visitors to cooperate to ensure the success of this exercise for our collective security,” said the Minister.
The new regulation regarding SIM card re-registration is due to the government effort to eliminate mobile phone related crimes, including prank calls, cybercrime, mobile money fraud, and other related issues in general security.
“Even though the SIM Registration regulations are still in force, it is not being enforced due to the lack of an acceptable, fake proof, Identification card and non-existence of verification by a national database to ensure the traceability of the individual who registered the SIM card,” the Minister added.
The Minister blames MNOs in Ghana for the source of the deficiencies. According to her, some network operators are hiring illiterate or semi-illiterate agents to do the SIM registration on commission.
“Reports received from some subscribers indicate that some agents registered SIMs without taking subscribers’ ID details, while others presented valid IDs for registration but later checks indicated their SIMs are registered in the names of other persons they do not know. Others indicated that some agents gave them an option to either buy a pre-registered card or queue to register and some subscribers obviously opted for the pre-registered SIMs to save time,” she said.
The new move to eliminate such deficiencies has been approved by Cabinet. She believes it will help to restore trust in the ICT ecosystem as well as support the efforts of law enforcement agencies to reduce SIM card-related crimes.