Stop SIM card sale on streets – CAC

The Consumer Advocacy Centre (CAC) has called on the government to abolish the sale and registration of SIM cards on the streets and direct that all SIM cards be sold at designated offices of the telcos, where copies of the identification documents can be kept for auditing purposes...


The Consumer Advocacy Centre (CAC) has called on the government to abolish the sale and registration of SIM cards on the streets and direct that all SIM cards be sold at designated offices of the telcos, where copies of the identification documents can be kept for auditing purposes.

The call comes a day after the government issued a notice to strictly enforce the law on SIM card registration (L.I. 2006) in the country.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Sunday, 31 March 2019, the Information Minister, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said with the government’s commitment to migrate to a formalised digital economy, as part of the Digital Ghana Agenda (DGA), it is important for the communication industry to ensure the integrity of an integrated database and systems. “This will also build security, trust and confidence for the use of digital services.”

He said: “While we partner the relevant institutions for the complete roll-out of the National Identification cards for SIM registration, the National Communication Authority (NCA) will ensure strict compliance with the law and engage MNOs and all relevant stakeholders to address these deficiencies.”

According to Mr Nkrumah, all actors must comply with the relevant statutory provisions as listed below:

• Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulation, 2011 (L.I. 2006) which governs the responsibilities related to SIM registration,

• Section 73 (a) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act. 2016 (Act 910) which states that:

“(1) A network operator or service provider shall comply with the directives established by the Authority to (a) prevent; (b) detect; or (c) disconnect the use of the subscriber identity module or the user identity module of that operator, for terminating an international call on any network in Ghana as a local call.

(2) A person who uses a subscriber identity module or user identity module for terminating an international call on any network in Ghana as a local call, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units for each subscriber identity module or user identity module used in terminating the international call as a local call or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.”

• Section 73 (b) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act. 2016 (Act 910) which also states that:

“(1) A person shall not deal in a pre-registered subscriber identity module or user identity module.

(2) Any person who knowingly deals in a pre-registered subscriber identity module or user identity module commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a "pre-registered subscriber identify module or user identity module" means a module that has been registered with the data of a person other than the person who finally acquires the module for use on a network except as permitted by law.".

He encouraged all subscribers to verify the authenticity of their SIM registration by dialling *400# on any network.

CAC said as a matter of urgency, the government must audit all registered SIM cards and deactivate cards found to have been improperly registered.

The Centre reiterated its call on the government to also institute a legal regime that will compel the telcos to pay a fine for allowing their platforms to be used to perpetrate fraud on consumers in the telecom market. “This call is appropriate in ensuring that the telcos cooperate with the government to block fraudsters from accessing the telecom platforms,” the Centre said in a statement.

The Centre further urged the government to focus some attention on consumer protection, just as it is doing for revenue generation in the telecom market.

Source: Ghana/classFMonline.com/91.3FM



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