Government plans to start an exercise to re-register national SIM cards in October

The Ministry of Communications and Digitization has announced that the national SIM card re-registration will begin in early October this year.

This was announced by the Minister for Communication and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, at a press conference on Sunday, September 5th. She announced that the exercise will take 6 months.

All citizens across Germany should re-register their SIM cards by March 31, 2022 at the latest.

Persons over the age of 15 are entitled to participate in this exercise.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful explained that the decision to re-register SIM cards was due to the increased use of communication services since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and that e-education was being made easier, among other things.

According to the minister, people can only register their SIM cards with the Ghana identification card.

“For the registration of SIM cards of citizens, foreign residents in Ghana and foreigners who stay longer than 90 days in Ghana, only the national identity card issued to a person, the Ghana card, may be used.

In the case of foreigners staying in Ghana for less than 90 days, she advises that a valid passport or other travel documents are required.

“Foreigners visiting Ghana can purchase a SIM card with their passport or travel card, but they can only use the SIM card for 30 days after which it will be deactivated. Foreigners who want to use the SIM card for more than 30 days will need to purchase a Ghanaian non-citizen card, ”she added.

In order for a company to register SIM cards in bulk, a shareholder or director of the company must be personally connected to the registration of the SIM cards.

Citizens can also register a total of 10 SIM cards in all networks, while foreigners have a limit of three SIM cards in all networks.

The Ablekuma West MP warned individuals not to engage in shady acts by registering in bulk under the pretext of being a company.

“Let me warn you here that people shouldn’t think that they can hide behind businesses and register as many SIM cards as they want. All SIM cards registered for a company are linked to a shareholder or director, and if a business SIM card is found to have been involved in fraudulent activity, that shareholder is personally liable, ”she said.

The communications minister mentioned the reduction in criminal activity and accurate data for the National Communications Authority (NCA) as some of the benefits of the new registration to be carried out with the Ghana card.

“This is not the first attempt to register SIM cards. All attempts failed due to the lack of a verifiable, secure identification document. This time the Ghana card forms the basis for a successful SIM registration.

“If done properly, as we intend, it will reduce or limit fraudulent or criminal activity and help authorities identify the right number of valid and correct Sims on the networks. Enable operators to build better demographics of their customer base and help them develop products and services that suit different groupings.

“The NCA will also receive more precise data in order to regulate the industry even better.”

She added, “Sim registration will fuel economic growth as more confidence is built in the telecommunications sector and people use secured devices to access e-government services and other private mobile digital solutions.”

Ms. Owusu-Ekuful stressed that the days of fraud against citizens through false reports by state officials and high-ranking personalities on social media platforms would also come to an end.

She used the platform to reiterate that “no minister or public sector official offers jobs or favors on LinkedIn, Whatsapp or Facebook for paying a protocol fee and filling out forms on such platforms”.

Meanwhile, through the Ministry of Communications and Digitization, the government has urged citizens to ensure they have their Ghana cards for a smooth registration process.

“We encourage all Ghanaians and foreign nationals residing in Ghana to ensure that they have their Ghana cards and non-citizen Ghana cards ready. The government believes that having a SIM database and Central Device Identity Registration (CEIR) with integrity is an important step in improving our digitization. All subscribers are therefore encouraged to receive their national IDs to enable a smooth and easy registration process. “

In addition, media houses have been urged to work with the government to ensure that the public is properly informed of all required information prior to registration.

In 2019, the Akufo-Addo-led government announced that it would start registering SIM cards in March 2020. However, due to the emergence of coronavirus disease, the exercise has been postponed.