Ghana’s Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has revealed that more than eight million unidentified SIM cards have now been deactivated by the country’s telecoms operators, following the introduction of punitive measures intended to encourage customers to complete the registration process. As part of the re-registration campaign begun in October 2021, customers who had linked a SIM to their national ID card but had failed to complete the final biometric data capture stage by 30 November are denied access to voice, data, SMS and mobile money services.
Having originally set a deadline of 31 July for registrations, slow progress and technical issues forced the authorities to extend this to the end of September and finally 30 November, while measures were implemented to facilitate the process and a series of penalties introduced to encourage subscribers to fully register their SIMs.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MTN Ghana announced in late November that approximately 5.7 million SIMs on its network were eligible for deactivation. Customers will have until the end of May 2023 to reactivate their accounts by completing the bio-capture process.