Residents in Ketu South besiege telcos offices to demand locked up funds in MoMo wallets
This follows the deactivation of their SIM cards after the Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority (NCA) directed the telcos to deactivate all SIM cards not connected to the National Identification Card (Ghana Card).
Some of the residents, who poured out their frustrations to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at the forecourt of the MTN office in Aflao say, the development was taking a toll on their daily lives as most of them kept their entire life savings and business capitals in their mobile money wallets.
“I don’t have a bank account and all my money is in my wallet – my entire life savings and even the capital I use for trading are all locked up in my wallet. I just don’t know what to do now,” Ms Cynthia Henyo, a distraught resident lamented to the GNA.
Mr Anthony Akpaloo, another aggrieved resident said: “I wasn’t able to collect my Ghana Card even after going through the registration process several months ago. This situation has really affected my business operations. Even money to take care of my family’s needs is all locked up in the wallet.”
GNA checks revealed that those, who visited the various telcos offices were unable to get their service reactivated because the web application used for the biometric verification component of the re-registration process was always not stable as the crowd waited for hours only to be turned away in the evening.
“Many people had to return home because the App has been down since morning. I have been trying to load the details of one person for about two hours now, but that has not gone through. The process takes less than five minutes, but the hold-up for reconnection has been due to the slow connection of our application,” an agent of one of the telcos explained.
At the SIM re-registration exercise’s inception on October 1, 2021, there were about 42 million active SIM cards in the country.
They were made up of SIM cards registered with identity cards (IDs) such as the National Health Insurance Cards, Passport, and Driving License.
The NCA at whose behest the re-registration started said a lot of the IDs were not verified at the time they were used to register the SIMs, hence the re-registration.
According to the NCA, after the first phase of the exercise, there were about 36 million active SIM cards in circulation as of May 2023, out of which 25 million, representing 69.6 per cent, had been duly re-registered.
This means that over 25.4 million SIM cards had completed both stages one and two of the SIM re-registration, which was done with verified Ghana Cards.
The remaining 11 million, representing 30.4 per cent, include active SIM cards exempted based on various demographics and active SIM cards that had not been re-registered with the Ghana Card using the current process.
Already the NCA has deactivated about 6.1 million SIM cards, which belonged to subscribers that had completed only stage one of the current registration process.
The residents called on the Ministry of Communications, the NCA and Telcos to speed up the re-registration process to enable them to withdraw their locked-up funds and to go about their normal lives.