Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu, has disclosed that the re-registration of SIM cards will start next month, October 2021, across the country.
She made this known at a press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Sunday where she also added that, the National Identity Card – Ghana Card – shall solely be the required identification document for the re-registration of SIM cards by the Ghanaian citizenry as well as foreign residents.
“Only the national ID card shall be used for the re-registration of SIM cards by citizens, foreign residents, and for foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days. For those staying in Ghana for less than 90 days, a valid passport or other travel documents will be required,” the Minister stated.
According to the Minister, all previous attempts to re-register SIM cards in the country failed due to the lack of a verifiable identification document.
This, she said, has led to the increase of plenty pre-registered SIM cards due to the inability of government to track and trace individuals who commit crimes with SIM cards.
“The prevalence of fake IDs and non-existence of verification of IDs also led to unscrupulous individuals procuring hundreds of SIM cards for SIM boxing leading to loss of revenue to the state and network operators. The Ghana Card provides the basis for a successful SIM registration exercise this time around,” she added.
The Minister noted some benefits to be derived from the re-registration of the SIM Cards include reducing fraudulent and criminal activities, helping authorities ascertain the accurate number of valid SIM Cards on networks, enable network operators to build demographics of customers as well as help them develop products and services to suit the various groupings.
The upcoming re-registration of SIM Cards by the Ministry is in accordance with the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) for registration regulations of the L I. 2006 which requires network operators to activate a SIM only after the subscriber registers it as an individual or a corporate body.
The exercise was initially scheduled to take place in March 2020 but was held up due to the Covid-19 pandemic.