Communications and Digitalisation Minister-designate Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has outlined measures which when confirmed, her ministry will enforce to curb the incidence of theft of communication devices in the country.
Taking her turn at the vetting by members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Madam Owusu-Ekuful intimated that the issue of SIM card registration will be visited, this time, however, to capture the devices in which they operate as well.
She noted with concern that one of the highest criminal activity Ghanaians are grappling with, is the incidence of mobile phone theft.
The former Communications Minister asserted that they will soon embark on SIM re-registration as part of efforts to properly secure citizenry and to combat criminal use of technology.
“We have taken a decision to revisit the SIM registration regime, to do it and do it properly. One of the major concerns that have plagued SIM registration in the past has been the lack of an effective ID to verify the identity of whoever was registering the SIM.
“Nowhere in the world can you just acquire a SIM card without registration? And looking at the uses to which we are putting our mobile devices, it is not just a mobile phone for talking now, it is your bank, it is your office, it is your entertainment device and it is storing very confidential information of yours.
“…Not only the SIM will be registered but the device on which the SIM is used as well. And we hope that by that we will cut down the theft and resale of devices. That’s one of the commonest petty crimes occurring in our country currently…
“if the device is also registered, once it is reported stolen it can be blocked and it cannot be unlocked,” Madam Ursula Owusu Ekuful told the Committee.
In October 2019, owners of SIM cards were asked to undergo a re-registration exercise between January 2020 to June 2020. At the time, the directive from government formed part of moves to fight sim card misuse and mobile money fraud.
She explained that Ghanaians would be required to register with a national ID card.