NGO unhappy about challenges confronting SIM card registration exercise

SIM Cards re-registration
SIM Cards re-registration

The Centre of Posterity Interest Organization (COPIO), NGO has expressed discomfort with the challenges and long queues associated with the nationwide on-going SIM card registration exercise, describing the situation as unacceptable.

COPIO is an alliance of rural community women advocating women empowerment and helping to eradicate poverty and oppression among women and girls.

A statement signed by Mr Mustapha Maison Yeboah, the Chief Executive Officer of COPIO, and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, however commended the government, Ministry of Communication and the National Identification Authority (NIA) for the SIM card registration exercise.

“The SIM card registration will enhance economic growth as more confidence is built in the telecommunications sector and people utilize secured devices to access e-government services and other private mobile based digital solutions.

“But it is glaring that challenges associated with the on-going exercise have already killed the interest of most Ghanaians, particularly those living in remote and deprived communities”, the statement said, and called on the telecommunication companies to devise realistic strategies to address the challenges.

“We believed the influence of accurate data is one of the hallmarks of national development”, it said and called for active engagement of civil society organization involved in data collection, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Centre for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD) in the exercise to reduce tension and make it a success.

“With the ongoing frustration surrounding the exercise, one may be quick to say that the telecommunication companies, Ministry of Communication, and the NIA failed to put in place the required pragmatic measures”.

“It is difficult to accept and believe that with the knowledge and expertise surrounding the operations of telecommunication business in the country one may expect such sharp, immediate and inexplicable challenges”, the statement indicated.

It said subscribers and customers of the various telecommunication companies could not continue to suffer at the expense of institutional anomaly that could easily be corrected.

The statement said it was unfortunate the NIA card was the only requirement for the SIM card registration, regretting that records showed only seven million, out of the 30.8 million Ghanaians had obtained the NIA card.

“If authorities believe the NIA card is the only requirement for registration, then they should have ensured a sizable number of Ghanaians have the card.

At the moment, it is evident that the Ghana card being the only identity instrument means that over 23 million Ghanaians would be overburdened”, the statement said.

“So if the relevant authorities and institutions fail to streamline things, people may have no option than to pull out from the registration which would not augur well for the nation’s development”, it added.

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