All mobile phone users are required to re-register their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) numbers effective January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, failure of which subscribers would lose their numbers completely.
The move is to aid the National Communications Authority (NCA) to crackdown on the use of mobile phones for various criminal activities in the country.
Besides, some unscrupulous persons sell pre-registered SIM cards to subscribers, which enabled subscribers to use the numbers to commit various crimes without tracing their identities.
The re-registration exercise would therefore help the law enforcement agencies to identify the SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb phone theft, and hate text messages, mobile fraud activities, inciting violence, and combat crime like SIM Box fraud.
Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, announced this when she took her turn of the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Monday, to update the public on the activities, achievements and challenges of the Ministry over the past two years and solicit feedback to improve government’s policies and programmes.
Ghana enacted the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, L.I (2006) primarily to reduce mobile phone related crimes such as prank calls, cybercrime, mobile money fraud and its related issues and general security of the nation.
The current SIM card registration regime, she said was deficient and fraught with many challenges, thereby defeating the purpose of the SIM Registration Regulations.
The Minister noted that some Network Operators hired illiterate or semi illiterate agents to do the SIM registration on commission basis, therefore the agents cut corners and even pre-registered several SIMs with different IDs for sale to unsuspecting clients, which compromised the sanctity of the registration process.
She said the NCA would establish a platform to verify all the valid national identity cards that would be presented for registration by prospective applicants.
The Minister said all applicants were required to present valid ID cards, including the National Identification Card (Ghana Card), Voter ID, Driver’s Licence and Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Card.
Mrs Owusu Ekuful noted that it would enable subscribers to be identified and be used for mobile banking, mobile money, and electronic payment services.
She charged the Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to ensure that SIM cards were registered before activation on their networks to prevent inconsistencies and fake subscriber identity.
The Minister entreated all Ghanaians to comply with the directive to ensure its success.