Extend SIM card registration to the end of 2022 - CUTS urges government

Appiah Kusi Adomako, West African Regional Director For CUTS International Appiah Kusi Adomako, West African Regional Director for CUTS International

Thu, 28 Jul 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

CUTS International, a leading research and public policy think tank, has urged the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to extend the SIM Card registration deadline to the end of the year.

CUTS explains that the registration has to be extended because majority of Ghanaians have not been a to obtain their Ghana Card, which is the only document needed to register their cards, due to the logistical challenges in obtaining them.

Speaking to the media in Accra on Monday, the West African Regional Director for CUTS International, Appiah Kusi Adomako said “whilst we understand the rationale behind the mandatory SIM card registration and the implication of unregistered SIM cards on crime prevention and detection as well on government domestic revenue mobilisation measures, extending the deadline to the end of the year would ensure that those who have not registered would be able to do so. Again, we are also not unmindful that not everyone would get registered should it be extended to the end of the year but those who would take advantage of the extension to register would outnumber those who would not register.”

“As a consumer protection organization, we have received numerous concerns from consumers about the difficulty they go through in acquiring the Ghana Card to enable them to register their sim cards. Some registered during the mass registration exercise in 2019 but haven’t received their cards up to date. A release from the NIA indicated that about 800,000 Ghanaians are yet to receive or pick up their printed cards as of 21st July, 2022. Others have misplaced their cards, whilst others have errors on the spelling of their names, first-time registrants among others,” he added.

Adomako said, “some people have had to abandon their work, wake up at dawn to join long queues at the NIA registration offices but are unsuccessful, extending the deadline will give them ample time to get the Ghana cards and register their sim cards.”

He revealed that Telcos risk losing a huge volume of revenue from their customers should the deadline not be extended. Some have taken microloans from mobile operators and disabling their SIM cards would create a substantial loss to the industry players.

He added that the government also risks losing a huge amount of revenue from electronic transactions (e-levy) from customers should the deadline stay as it is.

He suggested that, as a way to compel those who have not registered their sim cards to register, the Ministry of Communications can adopt phased limitations on unregistered SIM cards starting from 1st September 2022.

“This could include limiting the amount of mobile money that an unregistered sim can send and or receive to a maximum of GHC 100.00 per day and maximum internet bundle to say 100MB per day,” he said.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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