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SIM card registration: No extension of July 31 deadline as 12 million SIMs registered

Adnan Adams Mohammed

The Minister for Communications and Digitalization has warned that the deadline for the registration of SIM cards in Ghana will not be extended for a second time.

The exercise which began on 1st October, 2021, and originally scheduled to end on 31st March, 2022, was extended by the sector Ministry to 31st July, 2022, due to the fact that, over 7.5 million citizens and residents at the time, were yet to obtain their Ghana Card, to enable them register their SIM cards.

According to the Minister over, 12 million Ghanaians have so far linked their Ghana Cards to their SIM Cards, against almost 16 million Ghanaians who have received their Ghana card as reported by the National Identification Authority.

“I therefore take this opportunity to urge all those who’ve not registered their SIM cards to do so as the deadline of 31st July, 2022 will not be extended,”  Ursula Owusu-Ekuful stressed when speaking at a forum by the National Communications Authority (NCA) in Kumasi.

She indicated that, the exercise will ultimately help build a credible and safe SIM Card database in Ghana.

“Most people access their internet through their mobile devices. We must make sure that they do so safely. We must make it difficult for the criminals who hack our systems and defraud us through multiple online channels to operate, and this SIM registration exercise is one of the steps the government is taking in that regard. Essentially this stresses the point that this exercise will enable the establishment of a subscriber database with integrity to keep the consumers safe from scams and fraud.”

The Ghana Card, which is the only source of Identification for the SIM registration, has been a hot cake in past months since the registration exercise begun.

The issuing body of the Ghana Card, National Identification Authority (NIA), has indicated that, over 15.7 million Ghanaians current have received their Ghana cards.

According to the Executive Secretary of , Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, data available to him reveals that 16,969,034 persons have registered for the Ghana Card, with about 16,535,623 cards printed as of last week.

However, he gave multiple reasons why some people who have registered have not been issued with their cards.

“There are people who have double-registered. That is potentially a criminal offence. Those ones are being individually investigated. There are those whose cards have gone into adjudication, not because of double registration but because they have sought to change their vital data in the custody of the authority, such as bio-data. For such people, the system arrests their application, and it joins a queue.”

“For such people, until the outstanding issues are rectified, they can’t receive their cards,” he added.

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