Ghana cracks down on unregistered SIMS

07 November 2022

Punitive actions have been brought in for Ghanaians who have not registered their SIM cards as of 5 September.

Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has stated that outgoing calls will be re-routed with a special message played before the call is connected, for subscribers who have not begun the registration process. Meanwhile, subscribers with an incompletely registered SIM have received a similar message from 7 September.

The actions came ahead of 30 September, when all SIM cards in Ghana must be linked with a national identity number as part of a year-long SIM registration campaign.

Punitive measures for data services came into play on 12 September, with non-registered subscribers facing a 48-hour block on their SIM cards once a week. From 30 September, SIM cards began to be fully blocked.

“Subscribers who have neither begun stage 1 nor stage 2 of SIM registration process will be allowed to reconnect their SIMs after duly completing the two stages of the registration process,” said the NCA. “After September 30, 2022, these SIMs as described above will not have access to any service as their SIMs will be deactivated.

Subscribers will have a period of six months to register to redeem their SIMs failing which their numbers will be churned – that is reassigned to the pool to be sold to potential new subscribers.”

The SIM registration projects began in October 2021 and was originally planned for completion by March 2022, however, the deadline has since been extended. In August, an app was launched to make registration easier and more convenient. Stage one of the registration process sees citizens link their Ghana Card to their SIM cards, while stage two requires citizens to scan their biometrics at a physical store or by using their cameras via the SIM registration app.