MoMo agents plead with gov't to extend SIM card re-registration to January 2023

The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana is asking for an extension of the deadline for the registration of SIM cards in the country.

Mobile money booth

The agents in a statement said the mobile money business will be negatively affected if the government goes ahead to implement the July 31 deadline.

Earlier, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation said the Ministry would not extend the set deadline for the nationwide SIM card registration exercise.

According to her, failure to adhere to this new directive will result in the loss of numbers.

She said Ghana enacted the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I. 2006) primarily to reduce mobile phone related crimes such as prank calls, cyber-crime, mobile money fraud, and its related issues and general security.

She said all unregistered SIM cards would be deactivated by the end of July this year, and advised mobile phone users yet to register their SIM cards to do so to meet the deadline.

She stated that mobile phone subscribers and users in the country had been provided enough time and opportunity to register their SIM cards adding that "there is no way we are going to extend the deadline again".

She explained that SIM card registration was essential because the exercise would greatly help the country in its efforts to prevent online and cybercrimes that had become more sophisticated.

The enactment was also intended to help the law enforcement agencies to identify the SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb incidents such as phone theft, hate text messages, mobile fraud activities, inciting violence, and to combat crime such as SIM box fraud, she noted.

The deadline was earlier pushed forward from March 31, 2022, to July 31, 2022.

But the MoMo agents said the deadline could be extended to January 2023.

"As a business people in the industry, it will be very detrimental to our business and the industry, in general, should the government pursue the 31st July 2022. We appeal that with realism and having considered inconveniences and challenges, the government should extend the deadline to January 2023," it noted.

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