June 2, 2023

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The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has said her ministry is not required by law to seek Parliamentary approval before introducing the GH¢5 charge for persons who resort to self-service registration of their SIM cards.

The Minister on Sunday during a media briefing announced that an app for self-registration will be up by Tuesday, August 2, 2022, which will be made available on both Android and IOS platforms this week.

She said registration via the app will attract a GH¢ 5 charge.

“The SIM Registration App will be available for download on both android and IOS this week, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Each registration via the app will be subject to a 5-cedi surcharge.”

The Minister indicated that the app had to be introduced in light of the challenges confronting the SIM card re-registration process.

But a group known as the Concerned Mobile Network subscribers claim it is opposed to the GH¢5 charge, adding that the Ministry of Communications should have sort Parliamentary approval before imposing the charge as stipulated by the Fees And Charges (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, 2018.

However, Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful in an interview on Peace FM Monday, August 1, 2022, said that the position of the group is not backed by law.

“…I don’t have to go to Parliament as Minister for Communications because I’m using a service provided. The service provider says there’s a cost attached to using the app. We all know that the government cannot bear all the costs. So if you want to use the service, pay for it. If you don’t want to use the service (app) then go to your service provider queue and have your sim re-registered.”

Statistics from the National Communication Authority (NCA) show that as of Thursday, July 21, 2022, 16,969,034 individuals had registered for the Ghana Card, with about 16,535,623 cards printed, while 15,395,607 had linked their Ghana Card to their SIM cards.

At the press briefing, the Minister announced an extension of the deadline for the SIM card re-registration to September 30, 2022.

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