Haruna Iddrisu and Kwame Osei-Prempeh

Parliament yesterday adopted the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration Regulations, 2011 (L.I 2006) to give proper legal backing to SIM cards registration in the country.

The regulation, which comes into effect today, has given a grace period of 30 days to mobile phone subscribers to register their SIM cards after which their numbers would be deactivated if they fail to do so.

The House adopted the regulation following recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, chaired by Kwame Osei-Prempeh who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsuta/Kwamang/Beposo.

Moving the motion for the adoption of the L.I, the Minister for Communications, Haruna Iddrisu said the SIM registration has facilitated the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in Ghana, which allows a subscriber to move from one network to another while maintaining the same mobile number.

He disclosed that over 150,000 subscribers have taken the opportunity of the facility to port their numbers.  

The purpose of the registration, according to the minister, is to make subscribers more responsible in the use of mobile phones as well as augment the efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat crime in the country.

This, he added, will also enable the National Communications Authority (NCA) to maintain proper database on subscribers for planning and other purposes.

According to the Communications Minister, who is also the MP for Tamale South, people have used unregistered SIM cards to engage in illegal activities that have resulted in huge loss of revenue to the state and service providers contributing to deterioration in the quality of service.

The Legislative Instrument (LI) itself has imposed certain obligations on network operators or service providers, which includes non-disclosure of subscriber information to a third party unless the operator has the prior written approval of the subscriber or the operator is ordered by a court of law and authorized under any other law to disclose the information.

By Awudu Mahama

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