From January next year, all mobile SIM cards in the country will have to be re-registered in a new move by government to clean the current registration system, which has been characterised by fraud.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Communications Minister, who announced this Monday said the re-registration exercise will begin from January 1, 2020 to the end of June 2020.
Sim card registration in the country started in 2010 following a National Communication Authority (NCA) directive. The registration covered both existing and new subscribers of all sim cards from the various telecom operators in the country.
“It is quite clear that the current sim card registration regime is deficient and fraught with many challenges defeating the purpose of the sim registration,” she said while addressing journalists at the Meet-The-Press series in Accra.
The Minister said users of mobile devices will have a six-month period within which to re-register their sim cards, warning those who fail to comply will have their cards deactivated.
Already, she said, the Ministry of Communication has engaged the various stakeholders in the sector on the new re-registration exercise, and thus urged all citizens to cooperate when the exercise begins next year.
Underscoring the need for an accurate sim registration system, she said the success of the new re-registration of sim cards will ensure “our collective security”.
Why the need for re-registration?
Though sim cards are supposed to be registered at the point of sale with valid national identity card, some merchants and dealers are dabbling in the sale of pre-registered SIM cards which are in some cases use in perpetuating crime.
Such sim cards have over the years been used to commit various crimes including mobile money fraud, illegal SIM swap, Termination of international traffic (SIM-Boxing) leading to loss of revenue to the state, impersonation and Cyber-crime.