With nine days left to end the touted SIM card registration exercise announced by the National Communications Authority (NCA), mobile phone users are trooping to their service providers to beat the deadline.
Some subscribers, who spoke to City & Business Guide, said they were not aware of the June 30 deadline, but others said they were looking forward to an extension. But the NCA has stated that it will not extend the registration period for the year-long SIM card registration exercise.
Policy think-tank, IMANI Ghana last week called on the NCA to consider an extension to allow the remaining subscribers to register their SIM cards, but the authority has declined to do so. “We have no intention of extending the period although we do not want any subscriber to suffer a loss of his or her number after the June 30 cut-off date,” Major Emmanuel Owusu-Adansi (Rtd), Director of Special Project, NCA told the media at a press conference last week.
He however stated that over 97 per cent subscribers have so far registered and identified their numbers. The rationale for the SIM card registration is to enhance security, help eliminate fraud and crime and improve the risk environment of businesses.
Subscribers will also be better able to reclaim lost numbers, link their phone numbers to other commercial accounts and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their lines are secure.
City & BUSINESS GUIDE, during a visit to some telecommunications customer care service centres in the capital, observed that people had formed queues and waiting patiently to register their SIM cards.
Alex Frimpong, a spare parts dealer at Abossey Okai said, “I am registering my SIM card at this time because I never found the time to do so since the exercise started last year.
“In fact I knew I had to do it before the deadline, but I’ve been quite busy with work. I also thought there’ll be an extension so I can use that time to register, but as it stands now, the NCA has stated that it won’t extend the deadline for registration, and since I also don’t want to lose my SIM card and my contacts, I had no choice than to come and register.”
Most of the telecom operators told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE that they have registered most of their subscribers, and expressed optimism that come the June 30 they would capture all their customers.
Afua Serwaa Asafo-Adjei, Media Relations Advisor /Corporate Communications Officer at MTN, also told this paper that her outfit is now placing calls to subscribers who have not registered their SIM cards.
She said so far “MTN has about 85 percent of our revenue generating subscribers registered, which means we still have about 15 percent more to do this month.”
She stated that customers should check their registration status by sending a message to short code 400.
“If they are still unregistered they can visit any registration agent with a valid ID card to register,” she added.
She noted that all customers, whose registrations have not been validated, would have to re-regularize their registration.
Donald Gwira, Corporate Communications Manager at Airtel, also stated that Airtel has so far registered about 88 percent of its subscribers and is running a promotion to encourage the unregistered to do so. “We are currently running a promotion where customers are given GH¢2 for Airtel calls when they register their SIM cards and this is attracting a lot of people to register,” Mr. Gwira added.
Enoch Tetteh Quaynor Vanderpuy, Media and Advertising Manager, Tigo Ghana, also said the registration exercise has been progressive.
He indicated that Tigo has for sometime now embarked on a sensitization programme to encourage subscribers to register their cards before the deadline. “We continue to send bulk text messages and make phone calls to Tigo customers who are yet to register to do so,” he noted. This, he said, has yielded results, as customers are always trooping to the Tigo Customer Care Service Centres to register their SIM cards.
Vodafone on the other hand is registering subscribers before the deadline.
Source: Esther Awuah/d-guide
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