Government has cautioned all actors within the SIM registration value chain including subscribers and agents of mobile network operators to ensure compliance with the SIM registration and activation processes in line with the relevant statutory provisions.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah at a press briefing in Accra disclosed that government through the Ministry of Communications had taken note with concerns of a number of deficiencies with the existing SIM card registration regime in Ghana.
Mr. Nkrumah said the concerns include the sale of pre-registered SIM cards, the use of pre-registered SIM cards, and the use of fraudulently registered SIM cards.
“These deficiencies give way to fraudulent activities to be perpetuated through the use of mobile phones such as mobile money fraud, illegal SIM swap, Termination of international traffic (SIM-Boxing) leading to loss of revenue to the state, Impersonation and Cyber-crime. With government’s commitment to migrate towards a formalised digital economy as part of the Digital Ghana Agenda (DGA), it is important for the communications industry to ensure the integrity of an integrated database and systems. This will also build security, trust and confidence for the use of digital services” he said.
The Minister said while government partner the relevant institutions for the complete roll out of the National Identification cards for SIM registration, the National Communications Authority (NCA) will ensure strict compliance with the law and engage MNOs and all relevant stakeholders to address these deficiencies.
The Minister said all actors must comply with the relevant statutory provisions as listed below:
• Subscriber Identity Module Registration Regulation, 2011 (L.I. 2006) which governs the responsibilities related to SIM registration,
• Section 73 (a) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act. 2016 (Act 910) which states that:
“(1) A network operator or service provider shall comply with the directives established by the Authority to (a) prevent; (b) detect; or (c) disconnect the use of the subscriber identity module or the user identity module of that operator, for terminating an international call on any network in Ghana as a local call.
(2) A person who uses a subscriber identity module or user identity module for terminating an international call on any network in Ghana as a local call, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units for each subscriber identity module or user identity module used in terminating the international call as a local call or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.”
• Section 73 (b) of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act. 2016 (Act 910) which also states that:
“(1) A person shall not deal in a pre-registered subscriber identity module or user identity module.
(2) Any person who knowingly deals in a pre-registered subscriber identity module or user identity module commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than three thousand penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.
(3) For the purposes of this section, a “pre-registered subscriber identify module or user identity module” means a module that has been registered with the data of a person other than the person who finally acquires the module for use on a network except as permitted by law.”.
Mr. Nkrumah said government was committed to building a strong, secure and resilient communications industry for the benefit of the citizenry and the entire country.
“We are therefore encouraging all subscribers to verify the authenticity of their SIM registration by dialling *400# on any network” he said.