Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK-Africa) has requested government to review its decision to use only the Ghana Card as a form of identification for the SIM card reregistration exercise.
Contained in a statement, it revealed that “Ghana Card is a powerful tool and has an electronic passport” on it which can be used to travel to West African countries and foreign travels in future.
However, the group stated that “Ghana is not there yet” and as such wonders how Ghana Card is the “only card to register SIM Cards”. According to the group, the move has “mistreated section 7 of L.I. 2111” which makes the use of Ghana Card mandatory but not the only identity card for the purposes of registration.
“STRANEK-Africa wishes the Ministry of Communications will take a second look at our ongoing SIM Card Registration exercise. There should be an alternative where different IDs can be used to register SIM Cards. Passports [and] Driver’s licence currently are stronger IDs than the Ghana Card since the Ghana Card is largely filled with unverified GhanaPost GPS addresses”.STRANEK Africa
Incorporate other cards as forms of identification
The group, in justifying its stance, explained that the GhanaPost GPS addresses are not linked to the physical addresses of registrants “per our fastidious checks”. Thus, makes fighting fraudulent activities associated with SIM card re-registration “akin to a battle of Waterloo”.
“Majority of Ghanaians do not have a fixed place of abode but rather, they are highly residentially mobile. Simply presenting an ID card is a mitigation but not the solution to fight SIM based digital crime. There must be some form of liveliness test to accompany a credential, and also another to establish true ownership of the document presented”.STRANEK Africa
STRANEK-Africa asserted that, data compiled by the National Identification Authority to fight SIM based digital crime “will fall flat”. Passports, Driver’s Licence, Voter’s ID, the group insisted, should be allowed as one of the requirements for SIM card registration.
Weekends, according to STRANEK, must also be included as part of days for registration since Ghanaians work on weekdays and it will be difficult to form queues to do registration and collect their cards during weekdays.
“Government through the National Identification Authority (NIA) can also rely on the databases of the DVLA, Passport Office in addition to the database of NIA since initially, they were mostly the bedrock for most SIM registrations. Registration and collection of Ghana cards should be extended to weekends to make it easier for those who cannot register or collect their cards during weekdays”.STRANEK Africa
STRANEK-Africa then advised government through the Ministry of Communications to take a look at “digital ID in addition to the physical ID cards issued”. This, it noted, will ensure people do not only have to hold physical ID cards before they “engage in transactions”.
In an effort to “building our motherland, Ghana”, STRANEK-Africa calls for a replication of a digital ID of physical ID cards as done in Nigeria among other countries to do transactions as well.
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