Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has revealed that “common sense has prevailed” with respect to the decision by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to extend the deadline for the nationwide SIM card re-registration, to 31st July, 2021.
He indicated that the extension for the SIM re-registration is in the right direction, following calls by the Minority demanding its extension. Sam George noted that the Minority will consider advocating for a review of the source documents which can allow individuals to re-register their SIM cards.
“First part of the problem solved. Finally common sense has prevailed and the right thing has been done, an extension has been given”.Sam Sam Nartey George
Sam George insisted that the decision of the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, to strictly allow the use of the Ghana Card for the re-registration exercise goes contrary to the law. He highlighted that the only valid legislation which authorizes citizens to use other cards for registering their SIM has been ignored. As such, there is the need to advocate the use of other cards to be used for the re-registration exercise.
“The point here is, there’s only one legislation here in Ghana for registration of SIM cards; that is LI 2006. LI 2006 in Section 10, stipulates the cards that you can use to register a SIM card in Ghana. Those cards include the national passport… the Voter’s ID card. It’s stated in black and white in a law passed by Parliament. That law has not been changed, and that’s the only law for registration of SIM cards in Ghana. The Ministry is doing a SIM card re-registration, and saying that the law backing that registration is LI 2111. LI 2111 is the law for the National Identification Authority in enabling it to be able to generate a Ghana card”.Sam Nartey George
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Communication Committee intimated that section 7 of LI 2111 makes the Ghana card a mandatory card for a number of public services. He revealed that making something “mandatory does not make it unitary”. By implication, he noted that it doesn’t mean that because “they say you must use this card, it becomes the only card”.
“It only means that you must use it with any other card, that the law specific to the action you want to take says you should take”.Sam Nartey George
Extension of deadline for re-registration of SIM Cards
On Tuesday, March 22, 2022 the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, extended the deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards across the country to 31st July, 2022.
Contained in a statement, it expressed that the exercise was originally scheduled to end on 31st March, 2022; however, it has taken note of the challenges which have characterized the process since it began in October last year.
“As at 17th March, 14,091,542 SIM Cards have been linked to the Ghana Card, 10,348,532 Bio-Captures conducted and 99,445 New SIMS registered. Due to a number of factors including the fact that over 7.5 million citizens and residents are yet to obtain Ghana Cards to enable them register their SIM cards, it is clear that the deadline for completion of the registration of the remaining active SIM cards cannot be met”.Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation
The Ministry reckoned that more time will also be required to update the SIM Registration App for the registration of diplomats, while a Self-Service SIM Registration App is also being developed to facilitate registration of SIM cards for Ghanaians resident abroad.
“This will be operational by mid-April. The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has therefore extended the deadline for the registration of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards to 31st July, 2022”.Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation