The Chief Executive Officer of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Professor Kenneth Attafuah has stated that plans are far advanced to ensure every Ghanaian re-registers their SIM cards.
His comments follow agitations from sections of the public over the use of the National Identification cards for the SIM –Card re-registration exercise.
According to him, the exercise will commence with over 15.5 million Ghanaians with the National Identification Cards while persons who do not have the cards will be given a special opportunity to acquire the cards.
He spoke to the media on the sidelines of the 5th Ghana CEO Summit in Accra.
“15.5 million people have their cards already so those 15.5 million people can go and register their SIM cards when the process begins. But the rest who do not have it will be catered for. We have divided the population into two. For those who are 15 years and above, we have captured about 84%. So the rest can go to the district and regional offices. All Ghanaians, 15 and above who did not get their Ghana card can go to the NIA offices anywhere and get registered. We will also register those who are younger and under 15, so they will also be able to access the service. But as the Honourable Minister communicated, this will be over a period up to December 31st, so all those who desire to get the Ghana card can go and get it from any of our offices. It is free,” he said.
Explaining why the exercise is taking place at this time, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Madam Ursula Owusu Ekuful noted that the lack of a National Identification database delayed the process of generating a secured SIM card database.
She however appealed to all to take part in the exercise to avoid losing their phone numbers.
“The need for re-registration of SIM cards is obvious. There is a lot of cybercrime that is being committed by people on our networks with our mobile system. There is a lot of impersonation, identity theft out there. So for security reasons it is imperative that we register our SIM cards. The law requires us to do so. It hasn’t been done in a long while because we didn’t have a proper way to identify and verify the identity of the people and register them. All the cards we were using had a corrupted database, so it was difficult. There were a lot of complications in the systems we have,” she said.
The SIM card re-registration exercise which forms part of government’s plans to rid the country’s cyberspace of fraudulent characters is expected to commence from June 30th 2021.
According to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia every Ghanaian will have to re-register their SIM with a National Identification Number.