Franklin Cudjoe, the President of the policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has described as “brainless” the prescription of the national ID Card (Ghana Card) as the only legitimate document that can be used to re-register mobile phone sim cards.
In a post on Facebook, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe says the exclusion of the Ghanaian passport as a legitimate document for re-registration of sim cards makes no sense.
“So, whose brilliant brainless idea is it to say that passports are not legitimate IDs for the needless SIM re-registration exercise?” he asked rhetorically.
He also suggests the whole re-registration exercise is pointless. “If there are fake SIM cards in the system, how is that the doing of those millions of us who registered earlier legitimately? Shouldn’t the Telcos be asked to identify and block those fake cards?” HE queried.
“Exactly how will the National ID card being the sole identity requirement for a RE-REGISTRATION of all SIM cards prevent the infiltration of fakes? Nor can any ID actually do so? So, if we all yield and re-register, we will not have fake IDs, ever? And if there are fakes in the near future, we all get asked to re-register again? What is this?”
A national sim card re-registration program kicked off on Friday, October 1. It is expected to take data from all SIM card users across the country.
The exercise is scheduled for a period of six months after which all sim cards that have not been re-registered will be deactivated.
The government says that the National ID card, the Ghana Card, is the only document of identification for the exercise.
According to Minister of Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the exercise has been necessitated due to the increased use of communication services since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and to facilitate E-education, among others.
“Only the National ID card, the Ghana card, issued to an individual shall be used for registration of SIM cards of citizens, foreign residents in Ghana and foreigners staying in Ghana for more than 90 days,” the minister said.
She added: “Foreigners visiting Ghana can acquire a SIM card using the passport or travel card but they can only use the SIM card for 30 days after which it will be deactivated.
A maximum of 10 SIM cards can be registered by an individual and they should not be below 15 years of age.