Communications Ministry moves to tackle ‘deficiencies’ in SIM registrations

The Communications Ministry has moved to cure what it says are deficiencies with the existing SIM card registration regime in Ghana.

The Ministry has urged players within the SIM registration value chain to ensure strict compliance with the SIM registration and activation processes in line with the relevant statutory provisions.

-The sale of pre-registered SIM cards;

-Fraudulent registration of SIM cards and the use of same.

These deficiencies, the Minister said, facilitate criminal activities such as Mobile Money fraud, Illegal SIM swap, Illegal Termination of international traffic(SIM-Boxing) leading to loss of revenue to the state, Impersonation and, Cyber-crime.

“Government is committed to formalising our economy utilising technology as part of the Digital Ghana Agenda (DGA) and ensuring the integrity of an integrated national database and systems. This will build security, trust and confidence in the use of digital services, and help establish a fully functioning digital economy.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Photo: Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is Communications Minister

-The Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulation, 2011 (L.I. 2006), whichgoverns the responsibilities related to SIM registration and mandates the non-activation or de-activation of unregistered SIMs

-Section 73 (a) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act. 2016 (Act 910) which prohibits the use of SIM cards to terminate international calls as local calls, empowers the NCA to issue directives to MNOs to prevent, detect or disconnect SIMs used for that purpose and makes this illegal termination of calls subject to a term of imprisonment and/or a fine.

“For the purposes of this section, a “pre-registered subscriber identify module or user identity module ‘means a module that has been registered with the data cf a person other than the person who finally acquires the module for use on a network except as permitted by law,’” the release stated.

The Ministry has assured the general public that it is committed to building a strong, secure and resilient communications industry for the benefit of all citizens.

In that regard, the Ministry says it will ensure the full implementation of all laws on the acquisition and registration of SIM cards.

“We are therefore encouraging all subscribers to verify the current status of their SIM registration by dialling *400# Toll free on any network. Subscribers may also call their Service Providers on 100 Toll Free if they have any issues with the service.”