The Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers have described as illegal the Communications Ministry's implementation of the GH¢5 charge to be paid by the public when registering their SIM cards with the self-service SIM registration App.
The group say it would discourage more people from registering their cards and they attacked the directive for foreign nationals and other citizens abroad's the ability to use their passports to re-register their SIMs while Ghanaians without the Ghana card in Ghana cannot, as double standards and discriminatory.
The group led by former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu Constituency, Ras Mubarak said no one but the sector minister should be blamed for the confusion that has characterised the exercise.
" Everybody who knows anything about technology would know that the plan rolled out by the Minister was bound to fail. She was given advice, and refused to heed the advice and here we are. She's find out to be flip-flopping and very inconsistent. She's suggesting persons who live abroad can actually register their SIM using their passport, that is discriminatory. How do you say that you can't use a passport of Ghana to do the registration yet you are making provisions for Ghanaians who live abroad to use the passports? To have such a discriminatory policy clearly is very unfortunate, inconsistent, incoherent, lack of proper planning and that is why we are where we are" he said.
The group also raised concerns about the GH¢5 surcharge for a new Self-Service application to be made available for download soon for self-registration.
"She doesn't have Parliamentary approval, it is only Parliament who can impose fees and charges. As far as we know, she had not gone to Parliament to ask for Parliament to approve the so-called surcharge of Ghc5 for people to be able to re-register so that in itself is illegality and we are not surprised because consistently, the Minister has done things in violation of the law " he added.
Government over the weekend extended the deadline for the SIM card re-registration to September 30, 2022.
The Minister of Communications and Digitilization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful disclosed this during a press briefing on Sunday, July 31, 2022.
“The programme will be extended to 30 September to end the anniversary of its commencement which will give us a full year. Any sim that has not been registered by end of August will be barred from receiving certain services, including voice and data services,” the Minister told the press.
She also indicated announced a self-service sim reregistration app will be launched on August 2.
According to her, this app will enable the public re-register their sim cards in the comfort of their homes without having to queue at any network operator’s office.
The government had initially set July 31 as the deadline for all persons to re-register their SIM cards with their Ghana Cards.
Persons who had failed to comply with the directive would have had their SIM cards deactivated.
The regulations are to help law enforcement agencies to identify SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb phone theft, hate text messaging, mobile fraud activities, and SIM Box fraud.