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SIM re-registration: Group urges Ghanaians not to make phone calls in protest

BY: Kweku Zurek
SIM re-registration: Group urges Ghanaians not to make phone calls in Feb 8 protest
SIM re-registration: Group urges Ghanaians not to make phone calls in Feb 8 protest

A group of 14 Ghanaians including a former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak are urging Ghanaians not to make mobile phone calls on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, in protest of what they describe as "the circus surrounding the SIM card re-registration exercise".

In a press release issued today, the group urged all Ghanaians not to make or receive phone calls in protest at the manner in which the re-registration of SIMs was being undertaken.

"The No Calls Day boycott on 8th February would be the first in a series of national boycotts to protest against the current inhumane process of re-registration of SIM cards," the statement said.

According to them, there is no law in Ghana that requires Ghanaian mobile network subscribers to “Re-register” their SIM cards.

"Any attempt to impose this on subscribers or block their lines would amount to an infringement of their property rights," the group said in a statement copied to GraphicOnline.

Other signatories of the statement include Professor Raymond Atugubah, Mr Kofi Bentsil, Mr Franklin Cudjoe, Mr Samson Lardy Anyenini and Manasseh Azure Awuni.

Demands

The group wants the National Communication Authority (NCA) to immediately withdraw its directive for mobile network customers to re-register their SIM cards by March 31, 2022.

They say if the National Communication Authority (NCA) and Mobile Network Operators do not heed to their demands, they shall on February 8 begin the first of a series of planned boycotts until the rights of customers to be treated with dignity are respected.

"When the appropriate legal framework is in place, a re-registration exercise can be done without having subscribers spend productive hours and several days in long queues in the midst of a ravaging Covid-19 pandemic," the statement said.

"There’s understandably a need to eliminate crime. But the fight against criminals must be within the law. We therefore demand that the NCA and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) must come up with a better and innovative way of re-registering the SIM cards by first amending existing law; and secondly to do so without the current inhumane re-registration process we are witnessing".

Re-registration issues

Long queues have been sighted at the various mobile network service centres across the country as many Ghanaians rush to meet the March 31, 2022 deadline set for re-registering SIM cards.

The situation has led to many raising concerns about the process. Some have requested for an extension of the March 2022 deadline over fears that the slow pace of the process will prevent many people from being registered.

Meanwhile, the NCA has indicated that it will extend the March 31 deadline for the ongoing SIM card re-registration if it becomes necessary.

Read the entire statement below;

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Accra, 13th January 2022.

GHANAIANS TO BOYCOTT MOBILE PHONE NETWORKS

We, the undersigned Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers, having consulted Ghanaians across the country, have set aside Tuesday 8th February 2022 as a “No Calls Day.” On that day, we call on all Ghanaians not to make or receive phone calls as a way of registering our disquiet about the circus surrounding the SIM card re-registration excercise.

The No Calls Day boycott on 8th February, would be the first in a series of national boycotts to protest against the current inhumane process of re-registration of SIM cards.

There is no law in Ghana that requires Ghanaian mobile network subscribers to “Re-register” their SIM cards.

Any attempt to impose this on subscribers or block their lines would amount to an infringement of their property rights.

Our demands are as follows:

(I) The National Communication Authority (NCA) should immediately withdraw its directive for mobile network customers to re-register their SIM cards by 31st March 2022.

(II) When the appropriate legal framework is in place, a re-registration exercise can be done without having subscribers spend productive hours and several days in long queues in the midst of a ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

(II) There’s understandably a need to eliminate crime. But the fight against criminals must be within the law. We therefore demand that the NCA and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) must come up with a better and innovative way of re-registering the SIM cards by first amending existing law; and secondly to do so without the current inhumane re-registration process we are witnessing.

If the NCA and the MNOs fail to heed these demands, we shall, starting Tuesday, 8th February 2022 begin the first of a series of planned boycotts until the rights of customers to be treated with dignity are respected.

Signed:

Mr. Ras Mubarak
Prof. Raymond Atuguba
Mr. Kofi Bentsil
Mr. Franklin Cudjoe
Mr. Kofi Kakraba Pratt
Dr. Kwesi Owusu
Mr. James Afedo
Mr. Selorm Branttie
Mr. Francis Kofi Korankye-Sakyi
Mr. Samson Lardy Anyenini
Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni
Akyaaba Addai - Sebo
Mr Kwame Mfodwo
Mr Michael Ofori - Akuffo