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The Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that the deadline for the SIM card re-registration has been extended to September 30, 2022.
Addressing the media on Sunday, the government appointee said she “reluctantly” extended the exercise, which was scheduled to end on July 31, 2022.
The Minister said the extension had become necessary owing to challenges such as the delays in the rollout of a self-serving registration app and the acquisition of Ghana Cards, which is the mandatory document for the registration.
“Upon consultation with the industry and considering the challenges enumerated above, I have reluctantly decided to grant a final conditional extension.
“The programme will be extended to 30th September to end on the anniversary of its commencement. That will give us one full year of SIM registration to be reviewed at the end of this month, and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from fully receiving certain services, including voice and data services. It will also be more expensive to use unregistered SIMs. The full range of punitive measures will be announced at another press briefing in September,” the minister stated.
The SIM card registration exercise began on 31st October 2021 and was expected to end on 31st March 2022, but as of 17th March, over 14 million SIM cards had been linked to the Ghana Card, with over 10 million Bio-Captures conducted and 99,445 new SIMs registered.
Due to a number of factors, including the fact that over 7.5 million citizens and residents were yet to obtain Ghana Cards to enable them to register their SIM cards, it was clear the deadline for completion of the registration of the remaining active SIM cards could not be met.
As a result, the ministry extended the deadline to July 31, 2022.
However, there have been genuine concerns among the populace with regard to their inability to acquire the mandatory identity card (The Ghana card). This led to several calls on the government and the ministry to cause an extension to the July 31 deadline.