The Deputy Ranking Member on the Communications Committee of Parliament, Sam George says the official Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card of Speaker Alban Bagbin which is registered in the name of Parliament, has been deactivated despite it being fully registered.
According to the MP, this exposes the flaws in the current blockage of SIM cards by the National Communications Authority (NCA).
Speaking on the floor of the house, he said that apart from the Speaker, many other professionals have been affected by the exercise which to a large extent, is impacting their livelihood.
“Over 8 million SIM cards have been disconnected including that of the Speaker of Parliament. His official SIM card has been disconnected even though it was registered in the name of the Parliament of Ghana. We have judges, we have lawyers, we have doctors, and MPs, whose SIM cards were disconnected. My SIM card was [also] disconnected,” Sam George said.
He noted that it was time to acknowledge the failure of the National Identification Authority (NIA) especially the offices in various districts to issue cards to applicants.
He stated that it is important for the Authority to appear before the House to answer questions on why there has been a delay in issuing Ghana cards.
“So, it’s not the fault of any Ghanaian that they have not been able to register a SIM card. We are insisting that the National Identification Authority provides us with the Ghana Card, so we can register our SIM cards,” he said.
Sam George added that “It is important that the Minister appears before us to answer questions because people’s livelihoods have been affected and people’s mobile monies have been locked up due to the disconnection.”
Millions of SIM cards which have not been linked to Ghana Cards have been deactivated by the National Communication Authority (NCA).
According to the Chamber of Telecommunications, this figure includes SIM Cards which have gone through only one stage of the registration process and those that have not been linked to the Ghana Card at all.
The Chamber says the affected persons will not be able to make phone calls, SMS, or carry out any financial transactions.
Following the deactivation, scores of mobile network subscribers thronged some telecommunication services centres in a desperate attempt to restore their lines.
Subsequently, hundreds of people, the majority of whom were trying to register their SIMs for the first time, thronged some National Identification Authority (NIA) centres in a desperate attempt to secure their Ghana cards.
This is because the national card is the only prerequisite identification document admissible for the completion of the re-registration of SIM cards. As a result, the offices have seen long queues in the past few days.
As of Wednesday, May 30, about 11 million active SIM cards were yet to be re-registered with the Ghana Card.
Meanwhile, the Communications Minister, Ursula Ekuful, is set to appear before the House to address the sim re-registration on Wednesday, June 7.