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Telcos Flout NCA Directive   
 
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14-Mar-2012  
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Some of the mobile telecom operators in the country are refusing to deactivate the unregistered Subscriber Identification (SIM) cards on their network.

So far, MTN, Vodafone, Airtel and tiGo are the worse culprits.

This is in spite of the deadline of March 3, 2012 for the telcos to carry out the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards and a subsequent directive from the industry regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) for them to fully abide by the law.

The situation cast doubts on the figures released by the regulator that more than 1.5 million unregistered subscribers have been deactivated by the telecos.

At a news conference in Accra at the weekend, the NCA also claimed that more than twice the figure of subscribers whose SIM cards have been deactivated have been given the opportunity to regularize their registration.

According to the NCA, the moratorium was in view of the fact that such subscribers have made some attempt to register their SIMs but for one reason or the other, it has not been validated.

Graphic Business investigations since March 3, reveals that several people who did not register their SIM cards at all still have them active and are making and receiving calls normally as before.

The phenomenon gives credence to what some analysts had earlier predicted that once the NCA had no reliable system to check the telcos, the operators were not likely to deactivate the unregistered SIM cards because of the huge revenues they were likely to lose daily.

Some of the subscribers with unregistered SIM cards claim that they were deactivated the first day but they had messages from their operators the day after prompting them to go and register.

However, although they have still not done so, their lines remain active a situation which has compelled them to describe the entire exercise as bogus and a waste of time.

One phone recharge card vendor on the Graphic Road who only gave his name as Amankwah said he has deliberately decided not to register one of his numerous SIMs, a Vodafone SIM, to test the authorities.

“Since then, I have been using the SIM card to make all manner of calls and I also receive text messages normally”, he added.

Auntie Cici, a tomato seller at Kaneshie also said she has not been able to register her SIM card and yet the SIM was still in use.

“I have been using this MTN for more than 10 years, and for me, I do not even know what the whole exercise is about because I am always busy at the market and have never had that opportunity to go register”, she added.

Cici admitted that she has had several calls from different people purported to be agents from MTN asking her to register but due to lack of any of the IDs required, she has not been able to complete the process.

“They ask to assist me to do so but because I do not have any of the ID cards required, they are unable to carry out the registration”, she admitted.

Subscribers are to use a driver’s license, passport, national Identification card or a National Health Insurance card.

Some metal scrap dealers on the Graphic Road who the Graphic Business chanced upon while plying their trade at the weekend also claimed to be using their SIM cards without registration.

“We have not made any attempt to register them at all because we do not have any ID card to do so”, they confessed.

One of them, Aminu, told the paper that he has left his voters ID card back in Navrongo where he hails from and was wondering how he could go back for it.

“I do not even know where it is for me to ask my mother to locate it and mention the numbers to me”, he added with a smile.

Asked why he would not use any of the IDs of his friends to resgiter, he said: “They do not even have anything like a card at all because at the time they turned 18, the registration of new voters was over, so they do not have a voters ID”.

For the other ID, Aminu laughed and said “they, like me have never dreamt of buying a car or driving one anytime soon so the issue of driver’s license is completely out of thoughts”.

When asked about a passport, he was uncontrollable with his laughter and said “travel to where”.

Aminu said they have made some attempts to register for the NHIS but due to some difficulties he did not elaborate, they are yet to complete the process to own one.

Meanwhile, at the time of going to press, the NCA was yet to respond to the questions from the Graphic Business about the latest development.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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