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Ghana News

NCR urges NCA to exclude Telco agents from SIM registration process

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The Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) has called on the National Communications Authority (NCA) to remove all Telco agents from the ongoing SIM registration exercise. This action is necessary to prevent further incidents of fraudulent SIM registration in the country.

Fraudulent SIM registration has become a widespread problem in Ghana, where SIM cards are being linked to people’s Ghana Cards without their consent. The NCR has observed cases where one Ghana Card has as many as 18 SIM cards linked to it without the owner’s knowledge.

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The NCA previously explained that Telco agents had found a way to circumvent the process, resulting in numerous cases of fraudulent SIM registration. The NCR has, therefore, recommended that only NCA officials should be involved in the SIM registration process to prevent any further fraudulent registration.

The NCR also noted that most of the fraudulently registered SIM cards are numbers in close succession of each other, indicating that they were done by easily identifiable agents. The Telcos were aware of this but remained silent until it was exposed in the news.

The NCA has decided to abolish Stage 1 of the SIM registration on May 31, 2023, to eliminate the unique code that agents use to register SIM cards as fraudulent. The process will be limited to the use of the App to eliminate all avenues for breaches.

However, the NCR believes that abolishing Stage 1 is not enough, given that the breach was perpetrated by Telco agents. It, therefore, recommends the complete exclusion of Telco agents from the SIM registration process.

For the most part, excluding Telco agents from the process will leave the work to only Telco staff and make it easier to trace any breaches to the respective staff. This action will also help the Telcos avoid being sanctioned for the fraudulent conduct of their agents.

The NCR is confident that after the deactivation of 6.1 million SIM cards recently and the subsequent audit of the SIM registers of the respective Telcos, Ghana will have a clean, secure, verifiable, and robust central SIM register as required by law.

In summary, the NCR urges Ghanaians to keep using the short code 4021# to check and report any strange numbers to the respective Telcos (not agents) to help clean the SIM registers. The NCR expects the Telcos to cooperate with the NCA in the audit of the SIM registers, and the NCA’s guidance on how to establish ownership of Ghana Cards post the elimination of Stage 1 from the process.

 

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