The National Communications Authority (NCA) has said it will extend the end-March deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards if need be but also blames subscribers for the long queues and disorderliness witnessed at some registration centres.
The process has been fraught with long queues and disorderliness across the country.
The NCA’s Director of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Nana Defie Badu, told Kofi Oppong Asamoah on Class91.3FM’s morning show on Friday, 7 January 2022 that the 31 March 2022 deadline is not cast in stone.
“For the NCA and the Ministry of Communications, one of the objectives of this exercise is not to deprive people of using communication services”, she noted.
“We want to make sure that people are using the communication services in a secured manner”, she added.
“We continue to monitor the process; if it gets to the stage where we have to extend the deadline, we will because communication access is very critical for our development,” she said.
She explained that subscribers are required to physically go through the entire re-registration process again so as to eliminate all fraud perpetrated during the previous registration exercise.
She said the earlier ones “gave room for fictitious registrations and it also gave room for pre-registered SIM cards”.
“This current registration is going a step further to make sure that the person who has linked their Ghana card to their SIM card is that same person who owns the Ghana card to prevent SIM fraud”, she noted.
She further blamed subscribers for the long queues at the re-registration centres.
“What is happening is that even after they give tickets to these 100 customers, the costumers who are not included in the quota for the data collection, refuse to go away”.
Also, she said: “Most consumers fail to do the first phase of the exercise before they visit the mobile network operator or the agents”.
“Going there without the first stage increases the time frame for engagement with the customer care representatives”.
Meanwhile, the NCA has announced some measures to ease the congestion.
The Authority outlined the measures in the press statement presented in full below:
Measures to Reduce Congestion – SIM Registration Exercise
The National Communications Authority (NCA) has taken note of some public concerns regarding the SIM Registration Exercise, with specific regards to long queues and congestion at the customer care centres of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).
The NCA understands the frustration and inconvenience of customers in their bid to complete the second stage of the SIM Card registration process.
As a result, the NCA has been working assiduously with MNOs and the SIM Card registration application developer to improve the registration process and mitigate the current challenges.
The measures being taken include the following:
The deployment of additional registration points commensurate with the subscriber numbers of each MNO to ease the congestion. In this regard, outlets such as distributor shops, retail centres and other agent touchpoints across the country are being used for the SIM registration exercise. Customers are urged to patronise these other outlets as they become available to complete the second stage of the registration process.
The deployment of various ad-hoc registration points at various public areas including lorry parks, churches, mosques, etc to ease the congestion at the customer care centres. Announcements will be made in communities wherever such ad-hoc registration points are established.
The creation of additional temporary locations at various Government or State Owned Enterprise facilities including:
a. NCA Regional Offices.
b. Community ICT Centres established by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC)
c. Post Offices, etc.
The development and implementation of a daily quota and ticketing system for SIM registration bio capture at the customer care centres. MNOs will develop systems to schedule customers who have completed the first phase, to visit particular centres by a given date or window for the second phase of the registration.
The general public is hereby encouraged to be patient as these measures are rapidly implemented. Further, customers are advised to complete stage one of the registration process, i.e. linking the Ghana Card with the SIM Card by dialling *404# before visiting the MNO customer care centre or agent. This will further reduce the time spent at the customer care centres of the MNOs.
The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation (MoCD) and the NCA are working collaboratively with the MNOs to ensure that the SIM registration process is enhanced to make it fast, secure, safe and convenient for customers.