Ghana’s Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) has said that all unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated at the end of this month, an extension to the previously announced deadline of the end of October.
The Ministry released a statement at the end of last week in which it insisted that all SIM cards which have completed the first stage of the registration exercise but not the second phase will be blocked from accessing data services on 20 November 2022 and completely deactivated on 30th November 2022.
The first stage is the linking of the Ghana Card (a national ID card) to a SIM number. The second has a biometric verification component. At the end of last week just over thirty million subscribers had completed the first stage and just under 21 million the second. The Ministry said that almost 70% of SIM card users have completed the two phases of registration.
It added there had been a reduction in SIM-related fraud following the beginning of the SIM registration exercise.
The ministry statement also said: “One key reason why some of those who have linked phone numbers to Ghana cards have been unable to complete the bio capture of stage two is because they used other people's cards to link their numbers. This includes vendors who used the cards of others without the knowledge or consent of the card owners. Their inability to complete phase two attests to the robustness of the authentication process designed into the SIM registration architecture.”
It added: “A further announcement will be made shortly on measures to accommodate those who genuinely do not have Ghana Cards, once the ongoing consultations have been completed.”
The maximum number of SIMs that can be registered by an individual is ten. All operators must also properly categorise registered corporate SIMs.