SIM card re-registration: Communications Minister to appear before Parliament today

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The Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is expected to appear before Parliament today, Thursday, June 8, to provide details on the SIM card re-registration exercise.

Presenting the Business Statement for the week, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said due to the heightened agitation by affected subscribers, it has become expedient for the Minister to bring the House up to speed on the entire exercise.

All active and unregistered SIM cards were deactivated and removed on May 31, 2023 due to a directive from the National Communications Authority (NCA).

Over 8 million subscribers, including the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, had their SIM cards deactivated after the May 31 deadline for the exercise.

The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, announced the commencement of the re-registration of all mobile SIM cards on October 1, 2021.

The exercise was expected to last for six months but was extended several times for tangible challenges faced by SIM card users.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, lamented that the deactivated SIM cards, which have been taken off as a result of the delay in the release of Ghana Cards by the National Identification Authority, have affected livelihoods.

“People’s livelihoods have been affected, and people’s mobile monies have been stuck on their cards. It is important that this House takes into consideration that the National Identification Authority has failed to issue any Ghanaian citizen a Ghana Card in any district office in December 2022, so it is not the fault of any Ghanaian that they have not been able to register their SIM card.”

The National Identification Card, also known as the Ghana Card, is the only document that can be used to undertake the registration exercise.

About 7.4 million mobile money accounts, holding an amount of GH¢200 million, have not been registered and therefore deactivated.

However, the Chamber of Telecommunications has assured that monies on blocked accounts will be kept in a special account.

Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Telecommunications, said owners of restored mobile money accounts would be required to undergo a process to have monies restored to their wallets.

“If you do not have a Ghana Card, go to the National Identification Authority to obtain a card. Once you have the Ghana Card, dial the registration code, and register. Once you have registered, you will get your number back,” Dr. Ashigbey said.

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