Home / Politics / NDC Takes On Akufo-Addo Gov’t Over ‘Lawless’ SIM Re-registration Punitive Actions

NDC Takes On Akufo-Addo Gov’t Over ‘Lawless’ SIM Re-registration Punitive Actions

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has gone hard on the Akufo-Addo government over the punitive actions being meted out to some SIM-card users over re-registration exercise.

The opposition party is of the view the actions must cease without any further delay given what it feels is the lawless and arbitrary nature of the sanctions.

 

“We are appalled that this objectionable impunity has reached an alarming point where the mobile SIM cards of innocent Ghanaians including those who have already undertaken the said reregistration are being restricted, thereby rendering many of our citizens incommunicado, helpless and frustrated”, the NDC said in a statement.

 

Communications and Digitalization Minister, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the National Communications Authority were particularly taken on by the NDC over what it says is the poor roll out of the re-registration exercise.

 

The NDC condemns in no uncertain terms this arbitrariness and recklessness on the part of the Minister of Communications and the NCA. Such mishandling and crass bungling of a simple exercise such as the ongoing SIM card re-registration can only be supervised by incompetent and clueless public servants like we have at the helm of the Ministry of Communications and the NCA”, the release signed by the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Aside Nketia read.

The NDC wants the exercise discontinued demanding parliamentary intervention.

“While we commend and encourage legal actions filed by citizens of the country who have been affected by the reckless SIM Card restrictions, we call on the Parliament of Ghana, particularly the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications to call the Minister of Communications and the NCA to order in line with its oversight responsibility over these state entities. The lawlessness being displayed by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu and the NCA must be halted now.”

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Ghanaians with non-registered SIM cards have experienced restrictions in the use of their SIM cards from this week as part of punitive measures announced by the National Communications Authority (NCA).

 

The move, some stakeholders have argued as an infringement on the rights of Ghanaians.

Already, hundreds of customers massed up at the premises of the three major telecom companies to express worry over the punitive actions taken against them by the government.

Already, a pressure group, the People’s Project has sued the NCA and the Attorney-General (A-G) over the ongoing SIM card re-registration exercise.

 

The group is asking the Supreme Court to declare the deadline for registration and the associated punitive measures for non-registration null and void.

It argues that the punitive measures are unconstitutional.

The suit follows the NCA’s announcement that unregistered sim cards will be blocked.

Member of the Communications Committee of Parliament, Sam George has also commenced the collation of data to file a class action suit against NCA over the sim card re-registration exercise.
Read the full statement below:

 

PRESS STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
10th September, 2022

THE AKUFO-ADDO GOVERNMENT MUST STOP THE LAWLESSNESS AND ARBITRARINESS IN THE NAME OF SIM CARD RE-REGISTRATION.

The National Democratic Congress has observed with great concern the new wave of challenges that have bedeviled the ongoing mobile SIM re-registration exercise by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government. The party notes with utter dismay that right from the time this Government, through the Ministry of Communications decided to undertake a re-registration of mobile SIM cards of Ghanaians sometime in 2021, the exercise has been fraught with chaos and arbitrariness occasioned by the incompetence of the Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority.

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We are appalled that this objectionable impunity has reached an alarming point where the mobile SIM cards of innocent Ghanaians including those who have already undertaken the said re-registration are being restricted, thereby rendering many of our citizens incommunicado, helpless and frustrated.

We hold the view, that this simple exercise of linking SIM Cards to the Ghana card of subscribers to check crime among others, could have been easily done by extracting the biometric data of persons who have registered for the Ghana card from the National Identification Authority and matching same with the database of the Telecos. The NIA has made this point, the NDC’s Minority Group in Parliament and Civil Society Organizations have backed same.

Yet, the obstinate Ursula Owusu and the NCA will just not listen to these voices of reason but have chosen to make a fetish of a simple exercise of linking SIM cards to Ghana cards, thereby subjecting Ghanaians to needless long queues, loss of valuable working hours and sleepless nights.

It is an indisputable fact that the re-registration of mobile SIM cards policy and its attendant sanctions that are being meted out to Ghanaians by the Ministry of Communications and the National Communications Authority are neither backed by the SIM Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I 2006) nor the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2111) or any law in force in the country. The decision by these entities to restrict the SIM Cards of Ghanaians including those who have already re-registered their SIM Cards is therefore unlawful, irresponsible and unacceptable to say the least.

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The NDC condemns in no uncertain terms this arbitrariness and recklessness on the part of the Minister of Communications and the NCA. Such mishandling and crass bungling of a simple exercise such as the ongoing SIM card re-registration can only be supervised by incompetent and clueless public servants like we have at the helm of the Ministry of Communications and the NCA.

While we commend and encourage legal actions filed by citizens of the country who have been affected by the reckless SIM Card restrictions, we call on the Parliament of Ghana, particularly the Parliamentary Select Committee on Communications to call the Minister of Communications and the NCA to order in line with its oversight responsibility over these state entities. The lawlessness being displayed by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu and the NCA must be halted now.

Signed,
Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketia
General Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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