Attempts to finalise SIM registration in Ghana are continuing, even though the latest deadline seems to have past and many unregistered SIMs have been blocked.
It seems, however, that this may not include merchant SIM cards, all of which have to be registered by the end of June or they will permanently blocked, according to a statement by Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful. The Ghana Web news service says that the Minister was appearing before Parliament last Thursday, providing an update on the SIM re-registration exercise.
Almost 280,000 merchant SIMs have not been registered and the Minister suggested that some criminal networks may have acquired merchant SIMs and used them for fraudulent activities.
Addressing issues with the registration process, she has also said that subscribers who were unable to complete the second stage of the registration process should contact the National Communications Authority (NCA) to have their SIMs registered.
The NCA has blocked over 9 million unregistered SIM card, but the Minister has said that there are a number of subscribers have been exempted from "punitive measures for non-registration". These include exemptions for individuals without Ghana Cards who notify the NCA with proof of application for the Ghana Card, subscribers outside the country and subscribers facing genuine challenges during the registration process.
We reported in May that the NCA had set a hard deadline for the 11 million remaining unregistered SIM cards to be signed up, warning that those SIMs would be cut off from services at the end of the month. The SIM registration process began on October 1, 2021.