Private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu has advised the Communications Ministry against implementing the July 31 deadline for the sim re-registration exercise.
According to him, the number of sim cards that are yet to be linked to Ghana cards is too huge for the exercise to end adding that this could create some complications.
Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Kpebu said that “we are not ready at this juncture to deactivate the sim card that has not been registered with the Ghana card, let’s not deceive ourselves. It is going to cause chaos. Let’s not forget these sim cards we use them to make calls and so we pay taxes.”
The legal practitioner explained that “there are also going to be huge security implications. So for me, I think it is clear that we would have to do an extension, the numbers are too huge.”
Mr Kpebu added that the numbers from the Ghana Statistical Service and other data show that Ghana cannot risk cancelling sim cards.
He explained that Ghana can pick lessons from Nigeria where the exercise would not have a definite deadline but citizens are encouraged to continuously link their cards.
“It is mind-boggling that there is a threat to deactivate sims. There is some experience from Nigeria, they are also in this process, they extended it three times and March this year was the last deadline. When they got to March this year, they saw that there are still millions who haven’t done theirs so they just said we entreat citizens to continue,” Mr Kpebu added.
This comes after many Ghanaians besieged telecommunication outlets across the country in a desperate attempt to register their SIM cards ahead of the deadline on Sunday, July 31.
In an analysis by JoyNews, about 7.9m Ghanaians are expected to lose SIM cards by the deadline.
According to data contained in the 2021 Population and Housing Census, there are 19.9 million Ghanaians who are 15 years and older.
Out of this, only 15.7 million of them have been able to obtain their Ghana Card per the information given by the Finance Minister during the presentation of the 2022 mid-year budget review.
Of the 19.9 million, just 12 million, according to the Minister of Communications and Digitisation, have been able to fully register their SIM cards.
Already, there are calls on the government and the Communications Ministry to extend the deadline of the SIM card re-registration exercise expected to end on Sunday.
The Minority in Parliament has urged President Akufo-Addo to instruct the Sector Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, to postpone the deadline for yet another time.
The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) has equally pleaded with the government and the Ministry to consider an extension of the exercise to January 2023.
Also on the show, a Technology analyst, Maximus Ametorgoh called for the idea behind the deadline for sim registration to be scrapped.
He noted that the country is not in a rush to go anywhere nor is the Telecom industry, hence, the government should rather find a possible way to register those who can’t have access to the registration.