Re-register Your SIM By June 2020 Or Lose Your Phone Number – Minister Warns

A new directive from the Ministry of Communication has directed all mobile phone users in Ghana to re-register their SIM cards or risks losing their numbers in a new move to check the activities of fraudsters.

The Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu said this new programme will start 1st January 2020 to 30th June 2020 or lose the numbers as they will be deactivated.

Identification forms acceptable for re-registration or fresh SIMs will be by approved national biometric identity cards.

Mrs Ursula Ekuful announced government’s decision at a press briefing Monday and explained that the valid ID cards will include Driver’s Licence, SSNIT, Passports, and the Ghana Card. A detailed programme will be rolled out by the National Communications Authority and will be conducted with the telecommunication companies.

According to the Minister, Ghana enacted the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 2006) primarily to reduce mobile phone related crimes such as prank calls, cyber-crime, mobile money fraud and its related issues and general security.

The enactment was also intended to help the law enforcement agencies to identify the SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb incidents such as phone theft, hate text messages, mobile fraud activities, inciting violence, and to combat crime such as SIM Box fraud.

SIM registration also enables subscribers to be properly identified for the use of value added services such as mobile banking, mobile money, and electronic payment services. Due to the crucial nature of SIM registration and its security implications for the country, MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) were required to ensure SIMs were registered properly before activation on the mobile network to avoid inconsistencies and fake subscriber identity.

Even though the SIM Registration regulations are still in force, it is not being enforced due to the lack of acceptable, fake proof, Identification card and non-existence of verification by a national database to ensure the traceability of the individual who registered the SIM card.

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