Ningo-Prampram Member of Parliament (MP), Sam George, has revealed why unregistered SIM cards have not been blocked following the September 30 deadline.
Mr George claims the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has secretely engaged the telecommunications networks not to block the unregistered SIMs since she could not meet her deadline.
Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen, Mr George, who doubles as the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Communications Committee, disclosed the telcos have turned down the Minister’s proposal.
He explained they are demanding Mrs Owusu-Ekuful comes to make a public announcement before they can carry out any order.
“She has called the telcos quietly asking them not to block any SIM but they have also told her they can’t do it. She should come out with a press conference. They are demanding she puts the directive in writing but this is not surprising to me,” he said.
Mrs Owusu-Ekuful announced at a press briefing on Sunday, July 31, that she has reluctantly extended the deadline for the exercise to September 30, 2022.
“Upon consultation with the industry and in view of the challenges enumerated above, I have very reluctantly decided to grant a conditional extension. The programme will be extended to 30th September to end on the anniversary of its commencement,” she announced.
Additionally, any SIM that has not yet been completely registered will be unable to use voice and Internet services. “Afterwards, using unregistered SIMs will be more expensive.”
Mr George stressed blocking the SIMS will not augur well for the government’s negotiations with the IMF for support as the country’s revenue which Communication Service Tax (CST) forms part will be accessed.