The Ministry Of Communication Puts Measures In Place To Tackle Deficiencies With SIM Card Registration In Ghana

The Ministry of Communication in a press statement released on 2nd April 2019 and signed by the minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has announced that it is going to take measure to streamline the registration of SIM cards.

According to the Ministry, it has identified a number of deficiencies with the existing SIM card registration regime in Ghana.

The deficiencies they identified include: 1. The sale of pre-registered SIM cards, 2. The use of pre-registered SIM cards and 3. Fraudulent registration of SIM cards and the use of same.

The Ministry went on to state that the deficiencies metioned above facilitate criminal activities such as: 1. Mobile Money fraud, 2. illegal SIM swap, 3. illegal termination of international traffic (SIM Boxing) leading to loss of revenue to the state, 4. Impersoantion and 5. Cyber-crime.

The ministry further stated that: “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.

While we partner the relevant institutions for the complete rollout of the National Identification cards for SIM registration, the National Communications Authority (NCA) has been directed to ensure strict compliance with the law and engage Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and all relevant stakeholders to address these deficiencies.”

The ministry further entreated all suscribers and mobile network operators to comply with the following statutory provisions:

  • The Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulation, 2011 (L.I. 2006) which governs 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.
  • Section 73 (b) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act. 2016 (Act 910) also criminalises the use of pre-registered SIMs for any purpose and makes it an offence punishable by a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.

The statement further clarified that: “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 of a person other than the person who finally acquires the module for use on a network except as permitted by law.”

The Ministry, however, 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,” it added.

“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.” the statement concluded.

Below is a copy of the full statement:

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