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Surcharging for SIM registration would be illegal without Parliamentary approval - Ras Mubarak

BY: Graphic Online
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak says it would be illegal for Ghanaians to be surcharged for registering their SIM cards without Parliamentary approval.

In a statement he issued under the group name Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers and copied to Graphic Online moments after the Communications Ministry announced an extension of the deadline for registration of SIM cards, Ras Mubarak, said the surcharge announced today by the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful would be illegal because a Minister has no authority to impose fees or charges without parliamentary approval.

"The Minister has been an MP for some time and should know what ought to be done to impose fees or charges. She has not sought parliamentary approval and has no authority to impose fees or charges without parliamentary approval," he stated.

"Secondly, at a time of an economic meltdown where serious governments all over the world are giving their citizens relief packages to ease the burden of the recession, it is disappointing that the Minister will seek to illegally impose further burden on the already struggling Ghanaian public.

"We call on her to abandon this insensitive announcement to illegally impose a surcharge of GH¢5 on Ghanaians".

Below is a copy of the entire release below;

For Immediate Release
31st July 2022

RESPONSE TO MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS’ ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE CHAOTIC SIM RE-REGISTRATION EXERCISE

We note with disappointment the Minister of Communications’ announcement today on the chaotic SIM re-registration exercise where she failed to apologize to Ghanaians for the chaos associated with the exercise.

The confusion and chaos that have characterized the illegal sim-card registration exercise should be blamed at the doorsteps of the Minister for Communications.

Also disappointing was the Minister’s indication that a “SIM Registration App will be available for download on both android and IOS” this week and that “each registration via the app will be subject to a 5 cedi surcharge.”

This surcharge as announced by the Minister would be illegal if collected. The Minister has been an MP for some time and should know what ought to be done to impose fees or charges. She has not sought parliamentary approval and has no authority to impose fees or charges without parliamentary approval.

Secondly, at a time of an economic meltdown where serious governments all over the world are giving their citizens relief packages to ease the burden of the recession, it is disappointing that the Minister will seek to illegally impose further burden on the already struggling Ghanaian public.

We call on her to abandon this insensitive announcement to illegally impose a surcharge of GHc 5 on Ghanaians.

We the Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers maintain that the dehumanizing nature of the roll out was avoidable.

The whole exercise lacked a well thought-through implementation strategy, hence the confusion and flip flop.