Sim card re-registration: NDC raises objection over government’s “lawlessness and arbitrariness”

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed discontentment with the government over the punitive measures being meted out to Ghanaians over the on-going sim card re-registration exercise.

A statement signed by the party’s chief scribe, Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketia states that “The National Democratic Congress has observed with great concern the new wave of challenges that have bedeviled the ongoing mobile SIM re-registration exercise by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.”

Minister of Communications
Ursula-Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications

It says the NDC “notes with utter dismay that right from the time this Government, through the Ministry of Communications decided to undertake a re-registration of mobile SIM cards of Ghanaians sometime in 2021, the exercise has been fraught with chaos and arbitrariness occasioned by the incompetence of the Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority.”

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“We are appalled that this objectionable impunity has reached an alarming point where the mobile SIM cards of innocent Ghanaians including those who have already undertaken the said re-registration are being restricted, thereby rendering many of our citizens incommunicado, helpless and frustrated.”

Per the NDC, the simple exercise of linking SIM Cards to the Ghana card of subscribers to check crime among others, could have been easily done by extracting the biometric data of persons who have registered for the Ghana card from the National Identification Authority and matching same with the database of the Telecos. This point, the NDC indicates that it has been made by the NIA, the NDC’s Minority Group in Parliament and Civil Society Organizations.

“Yet, the obstinate Ursula Owusu and the NCA will just not listen to these voices of reason but have chosen to make a fetish of a simple exercise of linking SIM cards to Ghana cards, thereby subjecting Ghanaians to needless long queues, loss of valuable working hours and sleepless nights.”

On the matter of law, the NDC argue that the on-going sim card re-registration and its associated sanctions are in contravention of the SIM Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I 2006) and the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2111).

“Such mishandling and crass bungling of a simple exercise such as the ongoing SIM card re-registration can only be supervised by incompetent and clueless public servants like we have at the helm of the Ministry of Communications and the NCA.”

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“While we commend and encourage legal actions filed by citizens of the country who have been affected by the reckless SIM Card restrictions, we call on the Parliament of Ghana, particularly the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications to call the Minister of Communications and the NCA to order in line with its oversight responsibility over these state entities. The lawlessness being displayed by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu and the NCA must be halted now,” the statement added.

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