In a statement, the NCA said its attention has been drawn to the leasing/renting of registered SIMs by some individuals and entities to foreigners and other nationals in Ghana, which is a contravention of the Electronic Communications Amendment Act.
“The NCA wishes to state categorically that such individuals and entities and their mode of operations have not been sanctioned by the Authority. Their business model is classified as pre-registration of SIMs for use and as such contravenes Section 73b (1) of the Electronic Communications (Amendment) Act, 2016 which states that, ‘A person shall not deal in a pre-registered subscriber identity module or user identity module’”.
The NCA said the practice also violates the objective of the SIM Registration Exercise, which seeks to link each SIM to a verified identity of an individual as a means of curbing criminal activities and maintaining a SIM database with integrity.
“In addition, usage of this service means that compliance with the Data Protection Act cannot be established. Users also run the risk of privacy issues due to the probability that a new user will have access to data that may have been transacted on the SIM previously by the former user.
The NCA said the practice also creates room for identity theft particularly in reference to the rented SIM and its usage, as the SIM is registered in one name but used by another person.
It therefore warned that all entities and individuals engaged in the practice should cease and desist with immediate effect, adding that visiting and resident foreigners, citizens and prospective users are also cautioned against the patronage of the service or risk the repercussions as indicated in Section 73b (2) of the Electronic Communications (Amendment) Act, 2016.
The statement NCA continues to urge all prospective SIM users to follow the approved procedure by using a Ghana Card (citizen and non-citizen) or passport (visiting foreigners) to acquire a SIM for use in Ghana.