Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George has welcomed the decision by government through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to extend the deadline for the nationwide SIM card re-registration, to 31st July 2021.
The Ministry had set March 31, 2022 as the deadline for the the sim card re-registration exercise but most Ghanaians are still queuing at the various registration centres across the country for long hours to have their sims registered.
Speaking to Accra based, Joy fm on Tuesday vociferous young lawmaker said the extension is in order as it responds to calls made by the Minority earlier in that regard.
“First part of the problem solved. Finally, common sense has prevailed and the right thing has been done, an extension has been given” he stated.
He, however, disclosed that the Minority will now move on to advocate for a review of the source documents which can allow individuals to re-register their SIM cards.
Mr Nartey George who is Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Communication Committee argued that the decision by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, to allow only the use of the Ghana Card for the exercise, contravenes the law.
According to him, the only applicable legislation which permits citizens to use other cards for registering their SIM has been ignored; and therefore he will champion a cause for other cards to be used for the re-registration exercise.
“The point here is, there’s only one legislation here in Ghana for registration of SIM cards, that is LI 2006. LI 2006 in Section 10, stipulates the cards that you can use to register a SIM card in Ghana. Those cards include the national passport, those cards include your Voter’s ID card. It’s stated in black and white in a law passed by Parliament. That law has not been changed, and that’s the only law for the registration of SIM cards in Ghana.
The Ministry is doing a SIM card re-registration and saying that the law backing that registration is LI 2111. LI 2111 is the law for the National Identification Authority in enabling it to be able to generate a Ghana card” he stated.
He also added that “Section 7 of LI 2111 makes the Ghana card a mandatory card for a number of public services. Making something mandatory does not make it unitary. It doesn’t mean that because they say you must use this card, it becomes the only card.
It only means that you must use it with any other card, that the law specific to the action you want to take says, you should take”.
The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu Ekuful in a release signed on Tuesday said the deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards across the country to 31st July 2022.
The Ministry explained that it has taken note of the challenges which have characterized the process since it began in October last year.
“As of 17th March, 14,091,542 SIM Cards have been linked to the Ghana Card, 10,348,532 Bio-Captures conducted and 99,445 New SIMS registered. Due to a number of factors including the fact that over 7.5 million citizens and residents are yet to obtain Ghana Cards to enable them to register their SIM cards, it is clear that the deadline for completion of the registration of the remaining active SIM cards cannot be met”.
According to the Ministry, based on the said challenges, there’s the need for citizens to be given more room to comply with the directive, hence the extension of the deadline for the mandatory registration process.
“More time will also be required to update the SIM Registration App for the registration of diplomats, while a Self-Service SIM Registration App is also being developed to facilitate registration of SIM cards for Ghanaians resident abroad. This will be operational by mid-April.
The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has therefore extended the deadline for the registration of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards to 31st July, 2022″, portions of the statement read.