Prime News Ghana

Former Communications Minister questions govt's SIM card re-registration move

By Mutala Yakubu
Edward Omane Boamah
Edward Omane Boamah

Former Minister for Communications under the John Mahama administration Edward Omane Boamah has raised questions over government's move to have all persons re-register their SIM cards in 2020.

The Ministry of Communications recently announced the move at a press briefing in Accra.

Sector Minister, Ursula Owusu said the exercise is part of ways to fight crime associated with the use of SIM cards.

She stated that any SIM card that is not registered from January 2020 to June 2020 for the exercise will be deactivated.

READ ALSO: All mobile phone users will re-register their SIM cards from Jan. 2020 - Ursula Owusu announces

But Omane Boamah says the government could have adopted better ways to save Ghanaians from the stress.

He said 2020 will be a busy period for Ghanaians and this move will see the citizens queue on four occasions.

Part of his post on Facebook read: "In 2020, Ghanaians will queue to register their SIM cards, queue once again to register as new voters, queue another time to check their names in the new voters register before they queue the fourth (4th) time in the election year to vote in the general elections.

This is the price/punishment a people suffer when policy implementation is not aligned properly with other ongoing national programmes.

Ghana deserves better."

 In another development, the Communications Ministry last week directed telecommunication companies in the country to immediately stop the upfront deduction of Communications Service Tax, CST.

A letter from the ministry to the National Communication Authority said the implementation of the tax should be treated like the National health Insurance levy and the GETFUND.

The letter added the direct deduction of the tax increases the profit margins of telecom firms in the country.

As a way to minimize the negative impact of the deduction of the CST, the Communications Ministry also asked the Telecos to roll over all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers.

The Chairman of the Finance committee of Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah earlier accused telecommunications companies in the country of bad faith regarding the implementation of the Communications Service Tax, (CST).

The tax which was reviewed upward from 6 to 9 percent now sees credits of customers deducted at the point of recharge.

READ ALSO: Report telcos that still deduct CST upfront – Gov’t to Ghanaians

The move has resulted in complaints from a wide section of the public against the increment by government.