The Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, is set to appear before Parliament today, June 8, to address concerns regarding the SIM card re-registration exercise. This summons comes after the deactivation of numerous SIM cards, causing disruptions in the lives of citizens.
During a session in Parliament, Sam Nartey George, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, expressed his dismay over the deactivation of SIM cards, which resulted from the delayed release of Ghana Cards by the National Identification Authority. He emphasized the adverse impact on livelihoods, with people unable to access their mobile money funds trapped on the deactivated cards. George stressed that Ghanaians were not at fault for being unable to register their SIM cards, as the National Identification Authority had not issued any Ghana Card in any district office since December 2022.
“People’s livelihoods have been affected, and people’s mobile monies have been stuck on their cards. It is important that this House takes into consideration that the National Identification Authority has failed to issue any Ghanaian citizen a Ghana Card in any district office in December 2022, so it is not the fault of any Ghanaian that they have not been able to register their SIM card.”
The SIM card registration campaign, which commenced on October 1, 2021, was initially scheduled to end on March 31, 2022. However, due to difficulties in obtaining the Ghana Card, the National Communications Authority (NCA) extended the registration deadline multiple times, ultimately setting May 31, 2023, as the final date.
Unfortunately, approximately 7.4 million mobile money accounts, containing a total of GH¢200 million, have been deactivated as they were not registered within the stipulated time frame. Additionally, over 8 million subscribers, including the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, had their SIM cards deactivated following the May 31 deadline.
The summons of Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful aims to shed light on the situation and provide clarity regarding the SIM card deactivation process. It is hoped that her appearance before Parliament will address the concerns raised by citizens who have been negatively impacted by the deactivation. As the Minister of Communications and Digitalization, her insights and explanations are expected to contribute to finding a resolution to this issue.
In the face of this development, it is imperative that stakeholders prioritize the swift resolution of the SIM card re-registration exercise to minimize the disruption caused to individuals’ lives and ensure the smooth functioning of mobile services across the country.