Ghanaian News

NIA: Tourists do not need Ghana Card to acquire sim cards

The National Identification Authority (NIA) has explained that tourists who are on a short stay in Ghana do not require a Ghana Card in order to acquire a sim card.

Kojo Saka Addo-Mensah, one of the Ghanaian expeditioners who made a historic trip from Accra to London by road which ended on Sunday (6 August), has called for a review of what he described as the policy requiring tourists on short-term visits to use only a Ghana Card if they wish to acquire a sim card.

Appearing on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday (7 August 2023) to share the Wanderlust Ghana group’s experience of the road trip, Addo-Mensah said the policy needs to be reviewed for Ghana to rake in more revenue from tourism.

“At the top of my list [of changes that Ghana can make to attract more tourists] is that you shouldn’t tell a tourist at Kotoka International Airport or any of our border [entry points] that if they don’t have a Ghana Card you won’t sell him a sim card,” he told the ABS host Benjamin Offei-Addo. “Because we got sim cards in every country that we went.”

Addo-Mensah added: “That is why we were able to navigate and communicate. Without a Ghana Card, you can’t buy a sim card in Ghana,” he said. “I don’t think it is right, especially if we want to promote tourism.

“It’s a turn-off. A Cameroonian friend from the UN complained to me that she was refused access to a sim card because she doesn’t have a Ghana Card and she was just transiting in Ghana for two days. That is money lost to the country,” Addo-Mensah said.

However, the executive secretary of the NIA, Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, called in to the show and said provision has been made to ensure that people on short visits use their passport for the same purpose.

“People who are in Ghana for less than three months are not required to have a Ghana Card in order to register for a sim card,” he said.

“They are required to register for a sim card but they don’t have to have a Ghana Card,” Professor Attafuah said. “They are allowed by policy direction of the National Communications Authority to the telcos to use their passports.”

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