The government has granted a conditional extension of the Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards registration exercise to September 30, 2022.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful today (Sunday, July 31, 2022) at a press briefing in Accra.
The Minister said upon consultation with the telecommunications industry and "in view of the challenges enumerated above, I have very reluctantly decided to grant a final conditional extension".
She added: "The programme will, and I am choosing my words carefully, 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, it will 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 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 government had initially set Sunday, July 31, 2022, as the deadline for all persons to re-register their SIM cards with their Ghana Identification cards. Persons who were unable to re-register their SIMS would have had their SIMS deactivated.
The re-registration is to help law enforcement agencies to identify SIM card owners, track criminals who use SIM cards for illegal activities and curb fraudulent activities.
It is also to develop and build a SIM database with integrity, which will aid the determination of the accurate number of valid SIM cards on the various telecommunication networks at any point in time
However, many Ghanaians have been unable to acquire their Ghana cards to complete the registration process.
The National Identification Authority (NIA) has so far handed out over 15.7 million Ghana Cards whereas some 808,493 cards have been printed but not yet issued. According to the Executive Secretary of the NIA, Prof. Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, 16,969,034 persons have registered for the Ghana Card but only 16,535,623 cards have been printed.
SIM registration timeline
The SIM re-registration commenced on October 1, 2021.
The six-month exercise which was expected to end on March 31, 2022, was extended by another 4 months to July 31, 2022.
That extension was granted to enable over 7.5 million Ghanaians and residents who had not obtained Ghana Cards at the time to register their SIM.
Current SIM Registration Statistics
The Minister said as of July 20, 2022, the total number of Voice SIMs stood at 41, 979,398. Out of this number, 15,395,607 had linked their Ghana Card to their sim cards.
The total number of voice SIM card registrations for existing subscribers is presented below:
National Registration Details as of 28th July 2022 - Voice SIM Cards
Watch the briefing below;