In accordance with the directive issued by the National Communications Authority (NCA), telecommunication companies in Ghana have begun the deactivation process for approximately 9 million unregistered SIM cards, effective from June 1st, 2023.
Earlier in late 2021, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Communications Minister, announced the implementation of a SIM card registration policy, mandating the registration of all mobile SIM cards with Ghana Cards, starting from October 1st, 2021. The primary objective of this exercise was to curb the increasing instances of mobile account fraud.
Initially scheduled to last for six months, the registration deadline was extended multiple times due to challenges faced by SIM card users. However, the final deadline for registration was May 31st, 2023.
Amidst this registration process, concerns have been raised regarding the security of Ghana Cards. A recent article we published on May 2, 2023, titled “The Compromised Security of Ghana Card” on (https://www.techzone101.com/2023/05/the-compromised-security-of-ghana-card.html), shed light on potential vulnerabilities and security risks associated with the Ghana Cards system.
Ken Asigbey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, confirmed that subscribers can still re-register their SIM cards, even if they are unable to access certain features such as calling and receiving SMS messages. Out of the 9 million unregistered subscribers, approximately 7.4 million subscribers will be affected in terms of mobile money services.
As Asigbey explained, “Those who have not fully registered their SIM cards will be blocked, and as we speak, the number of those that will be blocked is about 9 million. If you consider those on mobile money that will be blocked, they are about 7.4 million, and they will not have access to their mobile money. So, on the GSM side, you will not be able to make a call, receive a call, send a text, or use data services.”
However, he assured subscribers with unregistered SIM cards that their funds in the mobile money accounts would remain protected by the network operators. He further emphasized that measures would be taken to allow these subscribers an opportunity to regain access to their mobile numbers, funds, and historical records.
“For the 7.4 million subscribers who have over GH¢200 million in their wallets, when they are barred, they will have the opportunity, if they register, to regain their numbers and regain access to their funds and historical records.”
It is important for affected subscribers to take immediate action and follow the necessary procedures to re-register their SIM cards to avoid any disruptions in services and safeguard their mobile money accounts. Additionally, the concerns raised about the security of Ghana Cards highlight the need for the authorities to address and rectify any vulnerabilities in the system, ensuring the protection of personal and financial information for all Ghanaian citizens.