SIM Registration App cost gov’t no money – Ursula
The yet-to-be-launched self-service SIM registration app did not cost the government of Ghana any amount of money, that’s according to the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful.
Speaking in an interview on Asaase Radio, the Minister said the app had been in the process for some time but was stalled because of the cost of its usage, adding that, the 5 cedis charge would ensure that the app would pay for itself.
The Minister further explained that, the app is provided by a private service and cost wasn’t paid by government, reason a surge charge has to be introduced.
“The APP didn’t cost the country any amount. Reason an amount of 5 cedis is supposed to be paid by anybody who wants to use it. Let me also state it clear, it’s not compulsory for it to be used, you can still move to your service provider and register there. The re-registration is still ongoing with the Operators at no fee.
“The Self Service app is an option for those who choose to use it. The introduction of the self-service SIM Registration App is an addition to the many efforts to help deal with the challenges associated with the ongoing SIM re-registration exercise. Government didn’t pay for it” she explained.
She explained that, the assertion making rounds in certain part of the public domain that, the app is made for certain high individuals in high authority to make money is also not true.
“Nobody is seeking to make any profit. I listen to these things and I cringe that, is that what we have been reduced to. Does everything have to be about money in this our country? People can’t deliver a service because it is needed and not hope to profit from it, where is our sense of duty to our country and our sense of nationality,” she said.
However, the National Communications Authority has indicated that the fee for the app usage will be given to the developers.
According to Kwame Gyan, Deputy Corporate Affairs Director at the NCA, the fee will go directly to the app developers for maintenance.
Mr. Gyan said neither the NCA nor the Ministry of Communications will take that money.
“The money goes to the app developers; those who built and are maintaining the app”, he said.
“It doesn’t go to the NCA,” Mr. Gyan added.
He stressed that it was not compulsory for subscribers to use the self-registration app to register their SIM cards and that the MNOs were still registering people at their customer service centres and at their agents at no fee.
Explaining the rationale behind the usage of Ghana card as the only requirement for the registration, the lawmaker said, “That’s what the law says. No other requirement can be used again. It is clear so I don’t understand where the arguments come IN. The law states it clear that, National Identification Card is the only needed document for it”.
The government announced that the self-service registration application is an addition to an extension of the deadline for SIM cards to be re-registered with the Ghana Card.
The government has set September ending as the deadline for all persons to re-register their SIM cards with their Ghana Cards, upon renewal August ending.
Persons who fail to comply with the directive would have their SIM cards deactivated.
The regulations are to help law enforcement agencies to identify SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb phone theft, and hate text messaging, mobile fraud activities, and SIM Box fraud.
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.