SIM cards re-registration: Hundreds besiege Telco centres …as deadline approaches in March

Hundreds of people continue to be in long queues at the various telecommunication centres in Accra to have their Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards registered.

This comes after the government’s directive for all SIM cards to be reregistered within a period of six months (from October, 2021 to March 31, 2022) using the Ghana card.

When the Ghanaian Times visited some telecommunication centres including Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), Airtel Tigo, and Vodafone in Accra yesterday, there were long queues of people, some who had been there as early as 3:00 a.m.

They complained about the stress they had to go through before they could have their SIMS registered with some saying they had been there the previous days but they never got their cards registered.

A vendor at the MTN Service Centre at the West Hills Mall who gave her name as Mrs Beatrice Arhin said it would have been better for the registration to be done on phone rather than lots of people trooping to service centres to have their SIMs registered.

Mrs Arhin said the registration exercise could be blamed for the increment in the COVID-19 cases as a lot of people came together irrespective of the wearing of nose masks, washing of hands and use of sanitisers.

At the Darkuman branch of the MTN service centre, lots of people had to return home because of the long queue and the interrupted slow network of the machines being used in registering the cards.

A businessman, Akwetey Annan queried how he was going to have his card registered as he had lost his Ghana card.

He called on the government, to as a matter of urgency, institute measures to address the situation since the deadline was drawing closer and more people were yet to register.

Likewise, at the Vodafone Service Centre at Circle, a phone dealer who gave his name as Kojo Ansah also said “ever since I did my Ghana card I haven’t received it and any time I visit the office I am always tossed to go and come back later, meaning I can’t re- register now”. 

At the MTN Service Centre, Madina Zongo Junction, Mrs Amanda Gyasi, a trader said “this is unfair, all the networks are all same but they always complain about the network being slow meanwhile we leave our homes and workplaces skipping all activities just to come and register but to no avail.”

Meanwhile, MTN Ghana in a public announcement yesterday, directed people to visit its branches, connect stores, distributor branches, light retail stores (volume management) retail centres and agent touch points across the country in order to reduce the congestion at its service centres.

When contacted on the development, theChief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey said the Chamber was considering ways to ease the plight of subscribers and details of such efforts would be communicated later.

The SIM re-registration exercise aims to secure the country’s cyberspace, monitor and track down persons who procure multiple SIMs for unscrupulous activities.

Initiated by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD), the SIM card registration exercise is in accordance with the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, LI 2006.

The Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, L.I 2006 mandates network operators or service providers to activate a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) only after the subscriber registers the SIM as directed by the National Communication Authority (NCA).

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