Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful has hinted that all unregistered SIM cards would be flashed out of the system entirely in 2020.
According to the Ablekuma West MP, the move is to help monitor and track down persons who use their SIM cards for criminal activities.
Speaking in a media encounter in Accra, the Minister urged all mobile phone users and SIM cardholders to re-register their SIM numbers before June 30, 2020 or risk losing their numbers.
She said cards to be used to register and re-register numbers are approved national biometric identity cards – Driver’s Licence, SSNIT, Passports, and the Ghana Card. A detailed programme will be rolled out by the National Communications Authority, and will be conducted with the telecommunication companies.
According to the Minister, 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.
“SIM registration also enables subscribers to be properly identified for the use of value added services such as mobile banking, mobile money, and electronic payment services. Due to the crucial nature of SIM registration and its security implications for the country, MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) were required to ensure SIMs were registered properly before activation on the mobile network to avoid inconsistencies and fake subscriber identity.
“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.
“Currently, there is no solution in place to integrate all the databases of Card Issuing Agencies for the seamless verification of IDs used for registration of SIMs to be effectively conducted,” she noted.