Chief Policy Analyst of the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby is not enthused with the extension of the deadline for the registration of all SIM Cards in the country.
On Sunday, July 31, the Minister in charge of Communications and Digitalisation, Hon. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful announced an extension of the deadline day following the cries of thousands of Ghanaians about the registration bottlenecks.
“The Mobile Network Operators MNOs and the National Communications Authority (NCA) (and I dare say the National Identification Authority have all engaged additional staff, procured the necessary logistics and are incurring significant expenses to conduct this exercise successfully. Any extension of the process increases their cost. Upon consultation with the industry and in view of the challenges enumerated above, I have very reluctantly decided to grant a final conditional extension.
“The programme will be extended to 30th September to end on the anniversary of its commencement. That will give us one full year of SIM registration. It will be reviewed at the end of this month and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from receiving certain services including voice and data services,” the Minister told the media at a press conference.
Speaking in an interview with Joy News on Monday, August 1, Dr. Wereko-Brobby said the extension of the deadline is not the answer to the many challenges associated with the exercise.
According to him, the main problem that needs to be addressed is the lack of collaboration between the National Communication Authority (NCA) and the National Identification Authority (NIA).
“One of the tragic things going on is it that, two state agencies are not talking to each other.
“What is preventing the NCA from doing what the bankers, SSNIT, and other agencies are trying to do?
“If the NCA was in sync with the NIA, there could be an arrangement where the NIA will furnish the NCA with periodic updates.
“We are not thinking. It doesn't matter the deadline we extend, it simply won't work,” Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby said.
Per the latest announcement by the Minister of Digitalisation and Communication, Ghanaians who are unable to register their SIM Cards with the Ghana Card risk losing access to key features.