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The 7.9 million Ghanaians whose SIM cards have been blocked did not fail - MP

Dr Abednego Bandim MP For Bunkpurugu And Select Committee Dr. Abed Bandim is MP for Bunkpurugu

Wed, 21 Jun 2023 Source:

A member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications, Dr. Abed Bandim, has said that the owners of some 7.9 million SIM cards blocked by the government for their failures to re-register did nothing wrong.

He insisted that contrary to the assertion that these Ghanaians failed to undertake the national exercise intentionally, it is rather because the government failed them.

Providing explanations to this during an interview on Hot News on Pan African Television, and monitored by GhanaWeb, the politician, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bunkpurugu, said that the government knows that the bigger problem in all of this was its inability to provide Ghana Cards to the citizenry.

He added that it is something that has been said countless times and so the failure rests on the shoulders of the government, and not the innocent Ghanaian.

“Let me say that after seven extensions, the so called 7.9 million Ghanaians have not failed or refused to link their SIM Cards because nothing has changed from the first extension when we drew government's attention, and in fact, government is aware - we didn't even have to tell them, that majority of Ghanaians still didn't have the Ghana Card to be able to use to register their SIM cards.

“The first extension came, the second extension came, to the seventh extension, yet, nothing has changed because the NIA have not been able to produce Ghana Cards for people too.”

He added that “The facts on the ground is that when the NIA’s Prof Ken Attafuah and his staff appeared before parliament, they made it clear to us that they did not have the capacity in terms of finances, and in terms of logistics, and in terms of human capacity to embark on a mass registration to give cards to Ghanaians to enable them to register their SIM card. They said that the Ministry of Finance has not, up to date, released funds for them to acquire equipment that will enable them to embark on a mass registration. As a result, they are not able to open registration centers at vantage points as part particularly in district capitals, in order to allow people to acquire the Ghana Card that is what it is it is not because the people have acquired the US Ghana cards and have refused to go and register. It is simply because they have not been able to get their Ghana Cards.”

Dr. Bandim further said the situation at the NIA is even more disturbing than this because the actual figures of people still looking for their Ghana Cards is not just 7.9 million, but much higher.

“I am not the one saying it, but if you look at the figures from the NIA, then you will understand that even there are more people – more people than the 7.9 million people whose SIM cards have been blocked… if you put the number of people who are looking for Ghana Cards in general and cannot get, they are countless people,” he added.

The Minister of Communications and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has stated that the government will not give any of the people whose SIM Cards have been blocked, including the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, another opportunity to have them done.

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