All mobile phone SIM cards will be re-registered after the National Identification Authority (NIA) finishes distributing the Ghana Cards to citizens by the end of the year, deputy Minister of Communication Mr Ato Sarpong has said.
Mr Sarpong said the re-registration has become necessary due to the ineffectiveness of the previous exercise because there was no uniformity in the ID cards used for the registration, a situation he said makes it difficult to authenticate and identify mobile phone uses.
Speaking at a consumer forum organised by the National Communications Authority in Ho, Mr. Sarpong said: “Some time back, we [NCA] got almost all consumers to register their SIM cards; we have come to the conclusion that there were a bit of gaps in that exercise, because we do not have harmonised or one common ID card to use for the registration.”
“As a result of that we’ve identified a lot of flaws within the telecommunication area, because we’re not able to identify people, as we should.
“We are expecting that when the National Identification Authority is done with the issuance of national I.D cards, the process for the registration of SIM cards will be redone,” Mr Sarpong said.
Parliament in 2012 adopted the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 2006) to give backing to SIM card registration in the country.
The Legislation provided that from 2012, no SIM card could be used if not duly registered.
Consequently, all the six mobile phone networks were barred from issuing new SIM cards without having them registered. Existing Subscribers were also forced to register the cards before they could continue using them.
The Director General of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Paarock VanPercy noted that there have been steady growth in the communications industry and as of now there are more than 31 million mobile phone subscribers countrywide. This means all 31 million SIM cards will all be registered with the same ID card – Ghana Card.
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