SIM re-registration Subscribers await fate as deadline expires

Some frustrated telecommunication network subscribers have given up on the just ended Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card re-registration exercise, after all attempts to have their cards registered yielded no results.

“What can come can come” Derrick Amponsah, a subscriber who spoke to the Ghanaian Times at the MTN registration centre at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle said.

“It is not my fault that I couldn’t get registered because I couldn’t get my Ghana card until Tuesday. So if they choose to deactivate it they should,” a visibly irritated Amponsah added as he pulled out his wallet from his back pocket to put back his new looking Ghana card.

At the time of the visit at about 4:45p.m. yesterday, officials of the telecommunication network were making frantic efforts to register as many customers before they closed at 5: 00 .pm.

The queue had reduced compared to what the situation was on Thursday as more points of registration were added to fast track the process.

Another subscriber, almost seated at the end of the queue could not hide his frustration as he told the Ghanaian Times that the decision to block all lines which were not registered was not well thought through.

“It must be a continuous process because the National Identification Authority has stated that it would not be able to register everybody before deadline so why do you block unregistered line.

“It is not as if I have not registered my line before. I did that before so my information is with MTN because I have been using this number for more than ten years now. If they want to block it, they should go ahead,” Stephen Armah said.

Meanwhile, Celestine Okutu who was fortunate to have her line registered decried the frustration she had to go through before finally being successful.

Speaking in the local Twi dialect, Madam Okutu said it has been two weeks now since she has been making efforts to have her line registered to avoid disconnection.

Going forward, she wants more registration centres to be opened and network improved because she was on several occasions sent home because the network was down.

At the Abeka registration centre, the situation was not different as frustrated subscribers hoped they could get through by end of day.

At about 3:15p.m. when the Ghanaian Times arrived at the centre, it observed that the number of subscribers who had converged on the centre outstripped the chairs provided.

Over two million people, according to the NIA are yet to be registered; a figure it said was impossible to capture before the September 30 deadline.

“There is no way that NIA can register those people. It is technically and physically impossible. We had said way back in March that it was impossible.

“I have said it is like expecting a maiden to make a baby every three months. That is not how the physical and logistical system has been designed to respond. We cannot do that,” the Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof Kenneth Attafuah, told a news conference in Accra a fortnight ago.

“Reluctantly” extending the deadline in July, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communication, warned that the deadline would not be extended and that persons who fail to do so would have service curtailed to their SIM cards.

“It will be reviewed at the end of next month and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from receiving certain services, including voice and data services and it will also be more expensive to use unregistered SIMs,” she said.


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