Mass SIM Registration exercise: NCA to ‘block’ 11m SIMs… at the end of May 2023

More than 11 million active Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMS) will by the end of May 2023 be deactivated if the owners of such SIMs fail to register by the said date, the National Commu­nications Authority (NCA) has warned.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah (right) interacting with Mr Anokye (middle)and other officials
Mr Oppong Nkrumah (right) interacting with Mr Anokye (middle)and other officials

The Authority said only Gha­naians on national duties outside Ghana, foreign diplomats and ref­ugees, who are exempted for the SIM Registration Exercise, would have their SIMs not deactivated by the said date.

The Director General of the NCA, Mr Joe Anokye, who dis­closed this at a news conference in Accra yesterday to brief the public on the progress so far made on the Mass SIM Registration Exercise said by the end of the deadline, subscribers who did not genuinely have Ghana Cards would have to prove that they did not have Gha­na Cards to prevent their SIMs from being deactivated.

According to the NCA Director General, majority of subscribers who had not registered their SIMs were those who did not enjoy exemption.

Mr Anokye said out of the current 36,571,257 active SIM cards, 25,448,962 SIMs had been registered and linked to about 13,982,557 unique Ghana Cards.

He said so far about six million unregistered cards have been delisted from the Central SIM Register, indicating that some of these cards were used for fraudu­lent activities.

The Director General of NCA said from the beginning of June 1, 2023, SIM Registration Exercise would only be for new SIMs.

Mr Anokye said currently Ghana had a Single Central SIM Register as mandated by Executive Instrument 63, 2020.

The Director General dismissed reports in some sections of the media that the SIM Database had been tampered with.

“We wish to assure the general public that the SIM Database has not been breached. In the first place, there has been no unautho­rised access to the SIM Regis­tration database. The identified abuses of stage one process, which have been resolved do not amount to unauthorised access to the SIM Registration database,” he stated.

He stressed “To our valued customers, we can assure you that your registration information is safe, your data has not been breached, and the NCA working with stakeholders is committed to ensuring the continuous integrity of the SIM Register.”

Mr Anokye disclosed that the NCA has put up a team to periodically audit the individual SIM Registers held by the Mobile Network Operators to ensure they were consistent with the Central SIM Register.

“In the coming days, the MNOs will introduce a system to enable subscribers check the number and detail of SIMs registered to their respective Ghana Cards,” the Di­rector General of NCA stated.

He said those found to “be in breach would be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Mr Anokye said the SIM Registration was a key national assignment fundamental to the digital transformation agenda of the country, adding that that was critical for the building of trust and confidence in the use of telecommunications, financial and other services.

“A reliable SIM Register will support security and law enforce­ment activities to safeguard our common peace and also promote socio-economic development,” he stated.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, in his re­marks urged the media to step up education on the Mass Registration Exercise to encourage subscribers to register their SIM cards.

The country began the Mass Registration of SIMs in October 2021, using only the Ghana Card as a means of verification and identification, unlike previous exercises where passports could be used to register a SIM card.


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