OVER 23.8 million SIM Cards which are either partially registered or unregistered are to be blocked by the end of October 2022.
A statement signed by the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the SIM cards involve almost 10 million people who have completed stage one of the SIM registration and linked their SIM cards to their Ghana Cards but have not completed Stage 2 registration.
The statement said there is no excuse for the owners of the 10 million SIM cards because they have their Ghana Cards, stating that they have been given ample opportunity to fully register their SIM Cards, either physically at their respective telcos centers or on the self-registration app.
Meanwhile, out of the over 42.7 million active SIM cards in the country, some 28.9 million have been linked to Ghana Cards, representing 67.28%. Of that number, a little over 18.9 million have been fully registered – representing 44.28% of the total SIM cards issued and 69.64% of SIM cards linked to Ghana Cards.
The statement also observed that over 13.7 million unique Ghana Cards have been used so far for the SIM registration exercise.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said all SIM Cards that have been linked to Ghana Cards but have not completed Stage 2 registration will be blocked from the end of October.
She explained that this is not an extension of the deadline but a temporary moratorium to encourage the owners of those SIM cards to complete the process.
“If they have any peculiar challenges, they should contact the National Communications Authority (NCA). All other unregistered SIMs will also, be blocked progressively,” she explained.
According to her, the National Communication Authority (NCA) was in discussions with the National Identification Authority (NIA) on the registration of amputees and other categories of persons and would make an announcement shortly on arrangements made to accommodate them.
She said the provision made earlier for SIMs active outside Ghana and diplomats still stands.
Meanwhile, all data-only SIMs, including those issued by Surfline, Busy Internet, Telesol, and any institution such as ECG, have up to the end of November to complete registration.
No More Than 10 SIMS Per Person
The Minister said some people have registered more than 10 SIM Cards for personal use and the database has identified it and will clean it up.
She tasked such persons to, as a matter of urgency, delink the unwanted SIM Cards immediately because, any excess SIM Cards over the individual limit of 10 SIMs per person will be removed from the database and blocked.
Ms. Owusu-Ekuful said the NCA has been directed to conduct mystery shopping and enforce the law against those miscreants and persons found guilty could be imprisoned for up to five years.
The sector minister said the law imposes a legal obligation on all mobile network operators to activate only SIMs registered in the manner prescribed by the NCA on their network.
“Any SIM which is not duly registered by NCA directives cannot be activated on any network in Ghana.”
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri