Following the May 31 deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards, Mobile Network Operators have begun blocking non-compliant subscribers as of June 1.
This is in fulfilment of the directives of the regulator, the National Communication Authority (NCA), which announced a nationwide re-registration of SIM cards in Ghana in September 2021. The exercise has since seen several extensions and grace periods to enable full compliance.
However, Dr. Ken Ashigbey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Telecoms Chamber, has revealed that over 9 million SIM cards have not been registered during this period. This includes 7.4 million mobile money wallets, containing an amount of over 200 million cedis.
According to Dr. Ashigbey, such subscribers will be barred from accessing any services on their networks, including calls, data, and mobile money services, until they fully undergo the re-registration process.
“Those who have not fully registered their SIM cards will be blocked, and as we speak, the number of those that will be blocked is about 9 million. If you consider those using mobile money that will be blocked, they amount to about 7.4 million, and they will not have access to their mobile money. So on the GSM side, you will not be able to make a call, receive a call, send a text, or use data services,” Dr. Ashigbey said in an interview with Citi News, as monitored by Volta Online. He, however, assured that the money on SIM cards will be safeguarded by the network operators.
“For the 7.4 million subscribers who have over GH¢200 million in their wallets, when they are barred, they will have the opportunity to regain access to their numbers and retrieve their money and historical records by registering,” he added.
Meanwhile, some subscribers have attributed their difficulties in re-registering their SIM cards to challenges in obtaining the Ghana card, which is the sole requirement for the process. The frustrated individuals have in the last few weeks been queuing at the premises of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in an attempt to acquire the national ID card.