The Ministry of Communication has issued a six-month ultimatum to all mobile phone subscribers to re-register their SIM cards with valid national ID cards and other relevant documents or face deactivation by June 2020.
Taking her turn at the Meet-The-Press series in Accra today, Monday, 14 October 2019, Sector Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful explained that Cabinet has noticed with great concern the breach of the current SIM registration regime which requires individuals in possession of SIM cards to register with their telcos.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful revealed that some of the telecommunication networks have been found complicit of fraudulently pre-registering the cards for profit motives, a move which she said is in clear breach of the law.
To right the wrong, the Communication Ministry has declared 1 January 2020 as the commencement period of a fresh general re-registration exercise until the June 2020 deadline.
“The Ministry has consulted all the relevant stakeholders and, hereby, announces that from 1 January 2020, we will all be required to re-register our SIM cards. Any SIM card which is not registered will be deactivated by June 2020, giving a six-month time frame for this exercise. We entreat all citizens, residents and visitors to cooperate to ensure the success of this exercise for our collective security,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful stated told the media.
Ghana enacted the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 2006) primarily to reduce mobile phone related crimes such as prank calls, cyber-crime, mobile money fraud and its related issues and general security.
It is also intended to help the law enforcement agencies to identify the SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb incidents such as phone theft, hate text messages, mobile fraud activities, inciting violence, and to combat crime such as SIM Box fraud.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful noted that even though the SIM registration regulations are still in force, it is not being enforced due to the lack of an acceptable, fake proof, identification card and non-existence of verification by a national database to ensure the traceability of the individual who registered the SIM card hence the need for the re-registration.