Blocked SIM cards can only be retrieved within 6 months – NCA

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The National Communications Authority (NCA) says individuals whose SIM cards will be blocked after the September 30 deadline set for the re-registration exercise can only retrieve them within a six-month grace period.

Unregistered SIM cards will afterwards be completely removed from the system.

According to the Deputy Director for Consumer and Corporate Affairs at NCA, Kwame Gyan, this forms part of punitive measures to be instituted to rid the system of unregistered SIM cards.

Speaking to Roselyn Felli on Prime Morning on Tuesday, he said that there is no limit for SIM card registration as people purchase SIM cards on a daily basis.

His comments come at the back of NCA’s resolve to roll out some punitive actions against users who have not registered their SIM cards starting Monday, September 5, 2022.

“After you have gone off the network from October 1, you have a six-month window to be able to get your number back by going through the registration process. If you fail to do that after 6 months, then, of course, we assume that you don’t want your number back,” he stated.

Outgoing calls and data services for a sequential batch of numbers will be blocked for 2 days weekly on a rotational basis.

Mr Gyan believes the action taken by the NCA will ensure and enable people who are yet to get their Ghana cards registered to do so.

He added, “Registration cannot be stopped, giving the sense that people keep on buying SIM cards every day. As long as you buy a new SIM card, you go through the process with the Ghana card, they will link it up for you, register it for you, and then hand over the SIM card to you.”

Again, the Deputy Director for Consumer and Corporate Affairs indicated that the NCA is acting in accordance with the directives from the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to block all unregistered SIM cards.

According to the Deputy Director, nearly 70% of the population began the re-registration process, but less than 20% completed the exercise as of August 25, 2022.

On March 3, 2012, all telecom operators in Ghana were legally mandated by the SIM Registration Regulation, LI 2006, to deactivate all unregistered SIMs in the country, or they (the operators) will be penalized.

This is in line with the licensing requirement of all telecom operators as provided in the Electronic Communication Act, Act 775, 2008, which mandates all telecom operators to keep the data of their subscribers.

Prior to that, Kwame Gyan stipulated that it is illegal to use an unregistered SIM card in the country, thus necessitating the re-registration exercise.

He urged all Ghanaians to complete the registration process as soon as possible if they had started, as well as those who are yet to register.