MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George has welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to extend the deadline for the nationwide SIM card re-registration, to 31st July, 2022.

Speaking to Evans Mensah on News Night on Tuesday, he stated that the extension is in order as it responds to calls made by the Minority earlier in that regard.

“First part of the problem solved. Finally common sense has prevailed and the right thing has been done, an extension has been given”, Sam George stated.

He however disclosed that, the Minority, will now move on to advocate for a review of the source documents which can allow individuals to re-register their SIM cards.

As a Ranking Member on Parliament’s Communication Committee, he argued that, the decision by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, to allow only the use of the Ghana Card for the exercise, contravenes the law.

According to him, the only applicable legislation which permits citizens to use other cards for registering their SIM has been ignored; and therefore he will champion a cause for other cards to be used for the re-registration exercise.

“The point here is, there’s only one legislation here in Ghana for registration of SIM cards, that is LI 2006. LI 2006 in Section 10, stipulates the cards that you can use to register a SIM card in Ghana. Those cards include the national passport, those cards include your Voter’s ID card. It’s stated in black and white in a law passed by Parliament. That law has not been changed, and that’s the only law for registration of SIM cards in Ghana.

The Ministry is doing a SIM card re-registration, and saying that the law backing that registration is LI 2111. LI 2111 is the law for the National Identification Authority in enabling it to be able to generate a Ghana card” he stated.

He also added that, “Section 7 of LI 2111 makes the Ghana card a mandatory card for a number of public services. Making something mandatory does not make it unitary. It doesn’t mean that because they say you must use this card, it becomes the only card.

It only means that you must use it with any other card, that the law specific to the action you want to take says, you should take”.

In a release on Tuesday, the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, said it has extended the deadline for the re-registration of SIM cards across the country to 31st July, 2022.

The exercise was originally scheduled to end on 31st March, 2022.

In a statement signed by the sector Minister, Ursula Owusu on Tuesday, the Ministry explained that it has taken note of the challenges which have characterized the process since it began in October last year.

“As at 17th March, 14,091,542 SIM Cards have been linked to the Ghana Card, 10,348,532 Bio-Captures conducted and 99,445 New SIMS registered. Due to a number of factors including the fact that over 7.5 million citizens and residents are yet to obtain Ghana Cards to enable them register their SIM cards, it is clear that the deadline for completion of the registration of the remaining active SIM cards cannot be met”.

According to the Ministry, based on the said challenges, there’s the need for citizens to be given more room to comply with the directive, hence the extension of the deadline for the mandatory registration process.

“More time will also be required to update the SIM Registration App for the registration of diplomats, while a Self-Service SIM Registration App is also being developed to facilitate registration of SIM cards for Ghanaians resident abroad. This will be operational by mid April.

The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation has therefore extended the deadline for the registration of Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards to 31st July, 2022″, portions of the statement read.