The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has extended the deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards across the country to 31 July 2022.
The exercise was originally scheduled to end on Thursday, 31 March 2022.
But a statement signed by the sector minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, on Tuesday announced an extension.
The ministry explained that it had taken note of the challenges that characterized the process since it began in October last year.
Over 7.5 million Ghanaians were yet to acquire their Ghana Card, which is the sole identification card for the registration, thus the need for an extension.
According to the ministry, these issues make it imperative for the deadline to be extended to ensure that every eligible SIM card is captured and a credible database is produced.
“The Ministry of Communications and Digitalization has therefore extended the deadline for the registration of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards to 31st July 2022,” the statement said.
Giving an update on the registration so far, it said as of 17 March, over 14 million SIM cards had been linked to the Ghana card, and over 10 million bio-captures were conducted.
It also said 99,445 new SIM cards had been registered so far.
The compulsory registration of SIMs with GhanaCards is open to Ghanaians from the age of 15.
At a presser on Sunday, September 5, last year, the sector minister announced a launch of the National SIM Card Registration Exercise across the country.
As captured in her speech, 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 NCA.
Every subscriber is required to provide the name and residential or occupational address, date of birth, in the case of an individual; and Certificate of Incorporation, in the case of a body corporate; or registration, in the case of a partnership or an unincorporated body of persons; and an identification document.
Only the National Identity Card (Ghana Card) issued to an individual shall be used to register SIM cards of citizens, foreign residents and foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days.
In the case of foreigners staying in Ghana for less than 90 days, a valid passport or other travel document is required.
Benefits of Registration
SIM registration, when undertaken correctly, will reduce or eliminate fraudulent and criminal activities.
It will also help authorities ascertain the accurate number of valid and accurate SIMs on the networks, enable operators to build better demographics of their customer base and help them develop products and services to suit the various groupings.
The regulator, NCA, will also get more accurate data to regulate the industry better.
SIM registration will enhance economic growth as more confidence is built in the telecommunications sector and people utilize secure devices to access E-government services and other private mobile-based digital solutions.
It will minimize mobile money fraud and support financial inclusion across vulnerable sectors.