Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has described the behavior of some Ghanaian’s attitude of taking mobile money loan from Telecommunications Networks and refusing to pay it back as an “Evil and Corruption act”.
According to her “I have also been informed that some people who have obtained quick loans from their servce providers have decided not to register those SIMs to avoid repaying the loans. That is evil and corruption and you will be found out”.
The Minister raised the concern when she was notified that some subscribers especially MTN users who are owing the Quickloan are refusing to pay back the money and also refusing to register their SIM cards while waiting for the deadline to take the money.
However, the Minister noted the Quickloan owners will soon be fished out by the Service Providers and pay it.
Even before the 31st July 2022 deadline for the SIM registration, the Service Providers had sent messages to the quick loan defaulters reminding them to pay the money.
Speaking further on the SIM registration she said “The program will be extended to 30th September to allow people ample time to register.
That will give us one full year of SIM registration, she said.
According to her “It will be reviewed at the end of this month and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from receiving certain services including voice and data services”.
She said “the statistics indicate that there was a 90% drop in sim registration as soon as the first deadline was extended on 21st March. Until a week ago, there were no queues at any registration center. People started rushing to register when they realized the deadline was imminent after going to sleep when it was extended”.
The Minister continued that “All visitors to Ghana can now acquire SIMS with their passports and I encourage the Airport Authority to work with MNOs to provide adequate venues for the acquisition of SIMS at the airport”.
“As indicated earlier, these will be valid for 3 months and if they want to use them for a longer period, they must acquire the non-citizen ID card to validate their SIMs. MNOS must provide their systems to send notifications to this category of SIMs” Ms Owusu-Ekuful noted.
“Special provision has already been made for members of the diplomatic corps in consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and they have been notified” she stated.
“Ghanaians on official assignment outside the country or students on scholarships who cannot acquire the Ghana card by December should contact the NCA”
“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” she stated.
The exercise which began on 1st October 2021, was originally scheduled to end on 31st March 2022.
However, the government extended the deadline to July 31 for all persons to re-register their SIM cards with their Ghana cards with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, indicating that people who fail to comply with the directive will have their SIM cards deactivated.
Because over 7.5 million citizens and residents at the time, were yet to obtain their Ghana Card, to enable them to register their SIM cards.
The Communications Ministry subsequently said 12 million Ghanaians have so far linked their Ghana cards to their SIM cards.
Before the current extension, the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana also wants the government to consider an extension of the deadline for the SIM card re-registration exercise.
It said the mobile money business will be negatively affected should the government go ahead to implement the July 31 deadline.
In a statement, the group noted that the deadline could be extended to January 2023.
– BY Daniel Bampoe