Sam George, the Member of Parliament (MP) representing Ningo-Prampram, has revealed that despite participating in the SIM registration process, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has had his official SIM card disconnected.
After the May 31 deadline for the registration exercise was declared by the government, the major telecommunications companies cancelled nearly 8 million unregistered SIM cards.
Sam George emphasized the need for the Minister to show up sooner in order to address concerns expressed about the procedure, even though Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, has been scheduled to appear before Parliament on Thursday, June 8, 2023, to inform the legislators on the exercise.
“Over 8 million SIM cards have been disconnected including the [that of the] Speaker of Parliament. His official SIM card has been disconnected even though it was registered in the name of the Parliament of Ghana. My SIM card was [also] disconnected.
“We are insisting that the National Identification Authority provides us with the Ghana Card, so we can register our SIM cards. It is important that the Minister appears before us to answer questions, if possible, even today because people’s livelihoods have been affected and people’s mobile monies have been stacked due to the disconnection.”Sam George
NCA Deactivates Active Unregistered SIM Cards
Since May 31, all active and unregistered SIM cards have been disabled and deleted, as per a National Communications Authority (NCA) mandate.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, announced the start of the re-registration of all mobile SIM cards on October 1, 2021. The program was supposed to last for six months, but it was repeatedly prolonged due to real difficulties faced by SIM card users.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President, has previously said that the purpose of the re-registration effort was to eliminate fraud from the nation’s internet and to watch over and find those who use their phones for illegal purposes.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr. George Akuffo-Dampare, corroborated the Vice President’s remarks when he testified before the Public Accounts Committee on January 20, 2023. He claimed that the government’s re-registration initiative had helped the Service in its efforts to crack down on cybercrime in the nation.
On February 14, 2023, the government announced that as of February 9, 2023, 25,150,522 SIM cards had been successfully registered in Ghana. The government also urged the public to adhere to the registration deadlines.
On April 17, 2023, all unregistered SIM cards were scheduled to be deleted; however, the order was overturned following extensive consultation.
Nevertheless, a day before the last day, hundreds of Ghanaians flocked to the National Identification Authority’s headquarters in Accra in a last-ditch effort to obtain a Ghana Card, which is necessary for the re-registration exercise and allows people to register their SIM cards to prevent deactivation.
The Central SIM Database was likewise delinked from all Surfline SIMs by the National Communications Authority (NCA). The NCA’s action comes months after the business encountered significant financial difficulties that left clients in a precarious situation. As a result, the business has closed its data center.
The NCA advised those who possessed Surfline SIM Cards and had used up their allotted 10 individual SIMs in a brief message posted on its website to register another SIM card, if they so choose.
“The National Communications Authority (NCA) wishes to announce to the public that, the Authority has delinked all Surfline SIMs from the Central SIM Database. Subscribers who hitherto had reached the ceiling of 10 individual SIMs with the addition of their Surfline SIMs, will now be able to link additional SIMs to their Ghana Cards.
“We also wish to reaffirm our unrelenting commitment to protect the interest of Surfline customers and all users of telecommunications services in Ghana.”NCA