The Minister of Communication and Digitalization, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has explained that the SIM Cards blockage currently ongoing spearheaded by the National Communications Authority (NCA) has nothing to do with persons without Ghana Cards.
The Ablekuma West lawmaker speaking on the floor of Parliament on Monday, December 05, 2022 said the blockage only affects persons who have their Ghana Cards, and have started the process of the SIM Card re-registration but have refused to complete for whatever reason(s).
She indicated that, mobile subscribers without a Ghana Card which is the main document for the registration of SIM cards at the moment have not had their numbers deactivated.
She was responding to concerns raised by the ranking member of the Communication committee of Parliament, A.B.A Fuseini and other false statements made by the Minority Chief whip of Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak.
“People who did not have Ghana Cards have not had their cards blocked, which have not happened. It is those who have completed the first phase of the exercise by linking their cards to the SIM cards but had not gone on to do the biometric capture that has had their SIM cards blocked” she explained.
Lack of Zeal
She blamed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Minority in Parliament for the current issues that have emerged as regards to Ghana Card and SIM registration.
According to her, the NDC advised Ghanaians and members of their party to boycott the Ghana Card registration, resulting in the current difficulties.
The minister believes support from the NDC and the minority for the registration exercises on both fronts would have accounted for many Ghanaians acquiring their Ghana Cards, which would have translated to higher numbers in the SIM re-registration exercise.
"…The Ghana card registration exercise started as far back as 2018. Our members on the other side actively campaigned against it and urged their members and Ghanaians to boycott it. So if they had assisted the country to undertake this exercise in the spirit of nationalism at the time, we would probably not find ourselves in this situation.
She added, "So, if the people do not have the Ghana Card and they don't have it because they listened to the other side, we only have ourselves to blame. Now that we have created this problem, let us see how we work together to address the issue. Members on the floor of the house also indicated that they were not going to participate in the SIM registration, including Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.”
The government announced a self-service registration application is an addition to an extension of the deadline for SIM cards to be re-registered with the Ghana Card in July this year.
The regulations are to help law enforcement agencies to identify SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb phone theft, hate text messaging, mobile fraud activities, and SIM Box fraud.
Statistics from the National Communication Authority (NCA) as of Thursday, July 21, 2022, was that 16,969,034 individuals had registered for the Ghana Card, with about 16,535,623 cards printed, while 15,395,607 had linked their Ghana Card to their SIM cards.