The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation is scheduled to launch the National SIM Card Registration Exercise (NSCRE) across the country next month.
The six months exercise which is expected to commence on October 1 this year and end on March 1, 2022 is in line with the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, L.I 2006 which mandates network operators or service providers to activate a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) only after the subscriber registers the SIM as directed by the NCA.
It is projected that about 40 million numbers will be registered by the end of the exercise and every subscriber is expected to comply.
Addressing the media in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said every subscriber would be required to provide the name and residential or occupational address and the date of birth in the case of individuals as part of the requirement for the registration.
However, in the case of a body corporate, a Certificate of Incorporation or registration an identification document would be required to get their registration done.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained that only the National Identity Card (Ghana Card) issued to individuals would be used for the exercise, stressing that “Registration of SIM cards of Citizens, Foreign Residents and Foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days. In the case of foreigners staying in Ghana for less than 90 days, a valid passport or other travel document is required.”
Giving the rationale behind the exercise, She said even though this wasn’t the first time such an exercise was being carried out; all the previous efforts failed because they lacked a verifiable secure identification document.
The situation she said led to the led to the influx of pre-registered SIM Cards in the system thus the inability to track and trace people who committed crimes with the SIM cards.
“The prevalence of fake IDs and a non-existent system of verifying the IDs, led to unscrupulous individuals procuring hundreds of SIM Cards for SIM Boxing leading to the loss of revenue for the state. The Ghana card provides the basis for a successful sim registration exercise this time,” she emphasised.
In addition to the new SIM Card Registration exercise, Mr Owusu-Ekuful said the government would implement handset and equipment as well as set up the CEIR as stated in the Executive Instrument 63.
She said the Central Equipment Identity Register connects to MNOs’ systems in a non-intrusive manner in order to aggregate all IMEIs coming from all the local operators in a single national IMEI database.
“Mobile device manufacturers estimate that about 5 million mobile devices are imported into the country annually but the necessary customs duties and taxes are paid on only 60 per cent of these imports. Data from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), confirms that 40 per cent of these mobile devices enter the Ghanaian market illegally, without Government benefiting from the expected tax revenue. Ghana has about 34 million mobile subscribers with a mobile penetration rate exceeding 119 per cent and there is a huge market for mobile devices,” she said.
By Cliff EkufulRead Full Story