Member of the Communications Committee of Parliament has chastised the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation (MoCD) for setting an unrealistic deadline for the SIM card re-registration exercise.
According to Mr. Sam Nartey George, the two government agencies failed to apply common sense to issuing deadlines without recourse to the impact of the decision on Ghanaians and businesses.
Speaking to Roselyn Felli on Prime Morning on Tuesday, Mr. George stated that the NCA, MoCD and NIA should have been involved in broad stakeholder consultations.
“The NCA and Ministry of Communication should have applied common sense. They should have spoken to the technical people in the industry before issuing the deadline. The NIA was not created to issue Ghana cards within a said time, but to issue Ghana cards on an ongoing basis,” he said.
The MP for Ningo-Prampram added that the NCA is unwilling to follow the integration protocols by the NIA for its own procurement, saying the NIA has provided protocols for the integration of databases to ease stress in the process.
He said, unlike other bodies including the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the NCA is failing to synchronise with the technical departments.
“If the NCA and the Ministry of Communications were minded and had spoken to technical people and industry players at the commencement or even before the commencement of this process, they would have realized that restricting yourself to the Ghana cards alone was going to create this kind of problem,” he explained.
In addition, he said, “We’ve seen other state institutions like SSNIT, like DVLA, do a synchronization of databases and verification of customers as against the NIA’s database. None of them ask their customers to come and queue and do a two-step process.”
A portion of the population believes comments passed by opposition parties are part of the reasons people are hesitant to partake in the registration.
Mr. Sam George explained that the people are complying with the opposition parties’ comments because they do not see common sense and wisdom in the actions of the NCA, saying the comments are “preposterous.”
He urged the Communications and Digitalisation Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to respect Ghanaians as they have the right to choose for themselves.
“It is insulting to the intelligence of the people of this country that the Minister for Communications would suggest that the people of this country do not have the brains to think on their own. She should respect the people of this country and know that they have the brains to think,” he said.
The legislator believes both the SIM and Ghana card registration processes would have been easier if the NCA and Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation had involved stakeholders and industry players.
Meanwhile, the NCA has issued punitive measures against persons who have failed to register their SIM cards. The deadline for re-registration remains September 30, 2022.