In October last year, the government directed both Ghanaian citizens and foreigners living in the country, who are above 15 years, to take steps to re-register their SIM cards.
The National Communication Authority, therefore, put in place structures to enable all eligible individuals register their SIM cards.
Giving reasons why it was embarking on the exercise, government noted that there was an increase in the use of communication services since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, so there was the need to ascertain the correct number of valid and accurate SIM Cards on the networks to enable operators build better demographics of their customer base and help them develop products and services to suit the various groupings.
Government also noted that as the number of people who use communication services increase, fraudulent and criminal activities have also increased and so it was necessary to re-register SIM Cards in order to reduce these activities and to build confidence in the system.
The government also indicated that building confidence in the system will enhance economic growth, as more people would make use of E-services with secured devices.
On the issue of fraud, many people have fallen victim before, so it is worthy to note that the government would want to nip the canker in the bud. These and many more benefits are the reason government must not allow the few to draw the country back.
The Chronicle is urging government not to extend the deadline again. This is because people would still relax after another extension is given and would not register their SIM Cards.
Earlier, government intended to end the registration exercise in March 2022, but many people lamented that they have been unable to acquire their Ghana cards, which is the sole requirement for the SIM Card registration.
The government then extended the deadline to July 31, to enable those in such situation get their Ghana Cards so they can register, but that didn’t work as the same song was sang when the July 31 deadline was approaching.
This again forced the government to extend the deadline to September. However, the news making the rounds is that whenever the deadline is extended, people abandon the exercise, go to sleep and only become eager to go back when another deadline is approaching.
In fact, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, in a story on graphic online indicated that by July 28, telecos were registering more than 250,000 Sim cards a day.
Mr. Ashigbey said that on the day the Communication Minister, Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful was announcing the September 30 extension, the registration centers were full of people eager to register but after the announcement, the people left without registering.
He also said that after August 18, the numbers dwindled totally to 5,000 per day.
This is why The Chronicle thinks government should not extend the deadline again.
We know that people who genuinely have not gotten hold of their Ghana cards will be affected, but going strictly by the rules is the only way to make people responsible.
We are glad that government has started sanctioning those who haven’t registered their SIM Cards and we would urge Ghanaians to take steps to do the right thing.
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