Defective Ghana Card Leaves SIM Subscribers Frustrated
Independent checks by The Anchor have established that, some people are still struggling to use their Ghana card to link with their SIM card, because some of the National Indentification Authority (NIA) cards are not well printed out.
According to this paper’s enquiry, many,who,having joined long queues to acquire the Ghana card,through no fault of theirs, cannot use it,because the SIM Registration App is unable to recognize some cards for them to complete their re-registration process.
This situation has left hundreds of people spending precious hours and days at one registration centre to another for help, while others have their SIM cards already blocked.
At some NIA registration and retail SIM registration centres visited, this paper was told the SIM Registration App was not able to capture or scan the cards.
This is because the silver-plated SIM inside the Ghana card cannot be scanned at all by the App, leaving people stranded and had been directed to the NIA head office at Okponglo, a suburb of Accra.
In some cases, the frustrated holders of the card also complained that the App could not capture particularly the front part of the Ghana card where their picture is located.
This, according to The Anchor’s information, was due to the quality of the passport picture on the card that looked blurred and, therefore, the holders of the card were told to go back to the NIA head office to have the cards either updated or reprinted, amidst stress.
The development has left huge chunks of people heavily frustrated, because even though they have the Ghana card, yetthey are unable to complete their biometric capturing because the Ghana card is defective, though no fault of theirs.
A visit by the paper to the NIA headquarters witnessed a crowd of people still in long queues waiting to have their problems solved, as they see the with anger.
Interestingly, those whose cards require replacement are being charged a fee, ranging from GH₵110, in spite of the current economic hardship.
Despite the difficulties people are facing with the cards, and trekking to- and-fro to have their problems with the card resolved, the authorities appear adamant and carried out their threats to block SIM cards of subsribers.
Last week, the government announced that more than eight million unregistered SIM cards had been blocked by telecom companies, on the orders of the National Communications Authority (NCA).
The move is part of the rollout of punitive measures by the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation and the NCA, Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekulful, told the press, December 7, 2022.
“Those who have linked their SIM cards to their Ghana card in the first phase of the registration exercise, but have not gone on to conclude the registration exercise by doing the biometric capture phase are those whose SIMs have been blocked.
“It is important that we do this because without the security of our devices we are all at risk. There are fraudsters and criminals out there who are using the anonymity of the internet and social media to defraud others, and we need to ensure that no one can hide behind this anonymity,” she said.
Hundreds of people have been captured at offices of the various telcos, trying to have their SIMs fully registered after they were blocked.
The minister was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 14th ITU Kaleidoscope event.
MP’s SIM Card Blocked
Meanwhile, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mohammed-Mubarak, has refuted claim by the Communications minister that some minority members urged Ghanaians to boycott the Ghana card registration, resulting in the current challenges some Ghanaians are facing with regard to the acquisition of their SIM cards.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful had, while making submissions on the floor of parliament, suggested that the delay with registration of Ghana Cards and re-registration of SIM cards could be linked to the minority and what she said were efforts to frustrate the respective exercises.
She also cited Muntaka Mubarak as one of the people who encouraged Ghanaians and his side of the house to boycott the Ghana card registration.
But reacting to these claims, Muntaka refuted them, indicating that the minority was not against the Ghana Card registration, but rather against the use of birth certificates as the means of acquiring the Ghana card.
Speaking in parliament, he challenged the communications minister to provide evidence to buttress her claims.
“Mr. Speaker, the minister is a senior minister and she knows that in this house if she wants to make such preference, you either put your official report or either put your evidence.
“Mr Speaker, I challenge the minister to provide any evidence that I in this chamber stood to say what she is claiming I said. If she cares to know, her statement is rather irritating the ordinary Ghanaian,” he said.
Muntaka added that, despite the fact that he registered his MTN SIM card, he has been blocked by the telco.
“We were here, you facilitated for the telcos to come here and register members. They came here and all the staff and members here will attest to the fact that I went down there and registered, but my SIM is blocked. Minister, you have to be responsible in your statement. Don’t just irritate people. I registered my MTN and Vodafone as we speak, my MTN has been blocked after they picked up our information right here in this house.
“…We believe and continue to believe that the limitation of people in the way they will register for the Ghana card and we said that was not fair and we still stand by that. That is also the reason why many ordinary Ghanaians do not own Ghana cards, she should be worried that ordinary Ghanaians do not have the Ghana card because of her bad policy of limiting the source document in which you can access the Ghana card,” he said on the floor of the house on December 5.