The Ghanaian government has revealed plans to implement a SIM re-registration programme as part of efforts to increase security and combat the criminal use of technology.
Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, informed the parliament’s Appointments Committee that the government has decided to ’revisit the SIM registration regime, to do and do it properly’, adding that previous efforts had been hindered by the lack of suitable ID cards.
The government had announced plans in October 2019 to stage a re-registration programme in the first half of 2020, with subscribers required to present the new national ID card, but this was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister stressed that customers who have already duly registered their SIMs will only have to verify the registration with their network operator.
She explained that the valid ID cards to be used for the re-registration would include driving licences, SSNIT cards, passports and the Ghana Card.
She said a detailed programme would be rolled out by the NCA and that the exercise would be conducted with the telecommunications companies.
Preventing mobile fraud
Commenting on the directive,Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful noted that the re-registration of SIM cards would prevent mobile money fraud, which had reached alarming proportions.
He said once there was a database that the companies could cross-reference, it would be a good starting point.
He indicated that once there was a database to verify those who presented ID cards for SIM card registration, it would be very easy to confirm that the ID card presented was genuine. It would also deter people from using fake ID cards for registration and, subsequently, using them to commit crime.