Unregistered SIM holders to be PUNISHED from Monday, Sept 5

    Joe Anokye - NCA Director-General

    Holders of all unregistered and partially registered SIM Cards in the country will be punished from Monday, September 5 and their SIM Cards will be completely blocked if the SIMs remain unregistered on partially registered by September 30. 

    This information is contained in a directive from the National Communications Authority (NCA) to all telcos and BWA (broadband wireless access) operators in the country dated September 2, 2022 and signed by the Director-General of NCA, Joe Anokye.

    Per the directive, beginning from September 5, 2022, all four telcos are to block outgoing calls and data services for a sequential batch of unregistered and partially registered numbers for 48 hours every week on rotational basis.

    They are also to re-route all outgoing calls from those numbers via IVR (interactive voice response) system to notify the users about the need to register their SIM card, before the call is sent through to the intended destination.

    So, if your SIM is not registered or you have done only the first part of the registration on *404# but you have not done the bio-capture, when you make a call, you will first of all hear an automated voice message telling you to go register you SIM, before your call will be directed to the number you are calling.

    Again, for two days in every week, all your calls and data access will be blocked and you will not be able to make calls or have data service for those two days.

    According to the directive, all SIM Cards which remain unregistered or partially registered by September 30 will be completely blocked and the holders will lose all services on those SIM Cards.

    But such SIM holders will be given six months to register or complete the registration of their SIMs. If the six months elapses, all unregistered and partially registered SIM cards will be churned and be sold to new customers.

    Meanwhile, the telcos have been asked to configure their networks to allow Ghanaians living abroad to register their SIM cards using their passports instead of the Ghana Card till December 31, 2022, when they will also be required to regularize their SIM registrations with Ghana Card or suffer punitive measures.

    The government recently launched a self-service App for persons who are unable to go to their registration centres to their own biodata capture in the comfort of their homes and offices at a cost of GHS5.

    Also Read: SIM Registration Self-Service App goes live

    The self-service feature was targeted at some millions of Ghanaians who have done the first part of the registration but have either failed or not been able to go to their service provider and complete the process.

    Also Read: SIM Registration Self-service MUST be FREE, 7 reasons why!

    The other challenge with the process is that all SIM holders, except non-Ghanaians and Ghanaians resident abroad, are required to use only the Ghana Card for SIM registration. Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority (NIA) has not been able to deliver Ghana Cards on time to even people whose data have already been captured by NIA.

    In one instance, a lady posted on social media that she registered with NIA in July and was asked to come for her Ghana Card on November 7, 2022, which is more than a month after the September 30 SIM registration deadline. Such a person will be punished for no fault of hers.

    It is for the same reason, coupled with delays caused by the NCA’s unique app for SIM registration that government had to keep postponing the deadline until the final one, which is September 30.

    Meanwhile, it does not appear like the NIA, which answers to the Minister of Interior, feels obligated to meet SIM Registration deadlines set by the Minister of Communications. NIA was in the past reported to have said that they work based on the resources available to them and not towards deadlines, since Ghana Card issuance is a life-long process.

    Also Read: SIM registration deadline extended to September 30, self service to cost GHS5

    Find the NCA Directive attached



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