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General News of Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

How is Ghana card the only eligible ID for sim re-registration? – STRANEK-Africa

The Ghana card is the only card accepted for the SIM re-registration exercise The Ghana card is the only card accepted for the SIM re-registration exercise

• STRANEK is urging the NCA to consider alternative means of identification for the SIM re-registration

• The NCA has mandated network operators to conduct subscriber re-registration

• The mandated form identification for the exercise is the Ghana Card



Civil Society Organisation, STRANEK-Africa is wondering why the National Communications Authority (NCA) has settled on the Ghana card as the only form of identification for sim card re-registration.

The NCA drawing power from the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, L.I. 2006, effective October 1, 2021, mandated all communication network providers in the country to activate a SIM card only after a subscriber has been registered.

The NCA again relying on section 7 of L.I. 2111 mandated that the only form of identification for a SIM registration should be the Ghana card.

This decision by the NCA has evoked several concerns including complaints about the identification mode being limited to the Ghana card.

In a release signed by its Executive Director, Nii Tettey Tetteh, STRANEK joined calls for the NCA to consider alternative forms of identification for the ongoing exercise.

“STRANEK-Africa wishes the Ministry of Communication will take a second look at our ongoing SIM Card Registration exercise. There should be an alternative where different IDs can be used to register SIM Cards. Passports, the Driver’s license currently are stronger IDs than the Ghana Card since the Ghana Card is largely filled with unverified GhanaPost GPS addresses.

"In effect, most of the GhanaPost GPS addresses are not linked to the physical addresses of registrants per our fastidious checks. If one of the reasons for SIM card re-registration is to fight fraudulent activities, then the fight is akin to a battle of Waterloo. The reasons are that, majority of Ghanaians do not have a fixed place of abode but rather, they are highly residentially mobile," the statement said.

The organisation believes that, the presentation of an ID could not be the only means to stop fraud which is ascribed as one of the main reasons for undertaking the exercise.

Among other things, STRANEK has proposed ways the NCA can make the exercise more flexible by making it possible for alternative means of identification as well as make provisions for Ghana card registrations.

“Registration and collection of Ghana cards should be extended to weekends to make it easier for those who cannot register or collect their cards during weekdays.

“Moreover, Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communication should take a look at digital ID in addition to the physical ID cards issued so that people do not only have to hold physical ID cards before they engage in transactions but can have a digital ID of those physical ID cards as done in Nigeria among other countries to do transactions as well,” the statement added.

The NCA has said all SIM cards not registered by end of March 2022 will be deactivated.


Read the full statement below:

TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT USING GHANA CARD ONLY FOR SIM CARD REGISTRATION-STRANEK-Africa


It is said that Ghana Card is a powerful tool and has an electronic passport on it which will be used as passport to West African countries and foreign travels in future. Since Ghana is not there yet, STRANEK-Africa has been pondering how Ghana Card is the only card to register SIM Cards.

The National SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) Card Re-registration Exercise has commenced per the directive by the Communications Ministry which took effect on 1st October, 2021. The Ministry of Communication has used the Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulations, 2011, L.I. 2006 as the authority to mandate network operators or service providers to activate a SIM only after the subscriber registers the SIM. However, it has mistreated section 7 of L.I. 2111 which makes the use of Ghana Card mandatory but not the only identity card for the purposes of registration.

STRANEK-Africa wishes the Ministry of Communication will take a second look at our ongoing SIM Card Registration exercise. There should be an alternative where different IDs can be used to register SIM Cards. Passports, the Driver’s licence currently are stronger IDs than the Ghana Card since the Ghana Card is largely filled with unverified GhanaPost GPS addresses. In effect, most of the GhanaPost GPS addresses are not linked to the physical addresses of registrants per our fastidious checks. If one of the reasons for SIM card re-registration is to fight fraudulent activities, then the fight is akin to a battle of Waterloo. Reasons are that, majority of Ghanaians do not have a fixed place of abode but rather, they are highly residentially mobile. Simply presenting an ID card is a mitigation but not the solution to fight SIM based digital crime. There must be some form of liveliness test to accompany a credential, and also another to establish true ownership of the document presented.
 
For that matter, such data compiled by the National Identification Authority to fight SIM based digital crime will fall flat. Passports, Driver’s Licence, Voter’s ID should be allowed as one of the requirements for SIM card registration.
Most Ghanaians work on weekdays so it becomes difficult for them to visit the nearest NIA offices by leaving their busy schedules to form queues to do registration and collect their cards during weekdays.

Government through the National Identification Authority (NIA) can also rely on the databases of the DVLA, Passport Office in addition to the database of NIA since initially, they were mostly the bedrock for most SIM registrations.

Registration and collection of Ghana cards should be extended to weekends to make it easier for those who cannot register or collect their cards during weekdays.

Moreover, Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communication should take a look at digital ID in addition to the physical ID cards issued so that people do not only have to hold physical ID cards before they engage in transactions but can have a digital ID of those physical ID cards as done in Nigeria among other countries to do transactions as well.

Let us all come together in building our motherland, Ghana.

*END*
 
  
Signed.

Nii Tettey Tetteh 
Executive Director
+233 559 042 914   

Eyram Norglo             
Deputy Director of Research    
 +233 266 119 773

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