The National Communications Authority (NCA) has given a month moratorium to enable subscribers with faulty Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards registration to rectify the anomalies before the deadline.
“Such persons are to rectify whatever anomalies thereof, or they will have their SIMs deactivated just as those who have not registered at all,” the Deputy Director of Communications and Consumer Services at the NCA, Mr Mawuko Zormelo, advised.
Consequently, he has asked the mobile telecom operators to resist the temptation of keeping the lines of those subscribers who have not registered at all on their networks or face sanctions as prescribed by the law.
As per the new legislative Instrument (LI), any inaction on the part of an operator will attract 2,000 penalty units and that will be interpreted by the courts.
The operators, he said, were also expected to furnish the NCA with the names and numbers of all the lines they have been able to deactivate.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Zormelo said the NCA had put in place systems that would be able to detect whether unregistered SIMs have been deactivated or not and warned of dire consequences should the law be flouted.
Saturday, March 3, 2012, marked the end of the deadline for the registration of SIM cards in the country.
However, due to some challenges with the validation of the registration of some subscribers, the sector Minister, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, asked the NCA to meet with the operators to ensure that people were not unduly deactivated, a move which culminated in the one-month moratorium.
Typical of many Ghanaians, scores of people on Thursday, Friday and Saturday thronged the offices of the various operators in a last minute bid to ensure that their SIMs were registered to avoid deactivation.
This was after more than a year’s grace period for them to do so to enable them to keep their numbers when the deadline was finally due.
In a chat with some of them on why they had waited all that while to register at the last hour, they claimed that heavy office schedules, among others, prevented them from doing so.
Others claimed they had completed the process many months ago but had received text messages from their various operators at the last minute, urging them to come and rectify some anomalies with their registration.
Apart from the hustle of going through hundreds of books at the Passport Office and that of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to authenticate the registration of those who used those identities, there are reports of some vendors employed by the telcos deliberately messing up the process due to impatience on their part.
Meanwhile, there are fears that more than two million subscribers on all the networks would be deactivated for not making any attempt to register their SIMs.
This is in spite of the fact that the telcos claim to have registered almost a 100 per cent of their subscribers and had no cause for worry.
Until the March 3 deadline, there were more than 21 million subscribers on the five active networks in the country, namely MTN, Vodafone, tiGO, Airtel and Expresso. The sixth, Glo, is yet to commence full commercial operations.
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