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We empathise with subscribers wrongly affected –

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The National Communications Authority (NCA) has empathised with subscribers whose registered SIM cards have been affected by the restriction of SIM functions.

According to the Director of Legal Affairs at the NCA, Dr Poku Adusei, it is an error for such subscribers to have their SIM functions restricted since they do not fall within the purview of the punitive measures announced.

Speaking on Top Story, Friday, he noted that although the NCA issued the directive for the blockage of SIM cards, the Authority cannot be blamed for such an error.

“We empathise with those who got wrongly affected even though they have done the first and second stages and they are able to verify by using the short code to confirm that.

“For such persons, it is an error to have their SIM cards blocked and anytime those come to our attention we are able to communicate with the network operators because it is not in the purview of NCA for any blockage to take place. It is rather the telecom operators,” he stated.

Dr Poku Adusei explained that the directive was for telecommunication companies to apply punitive measures to persons who have not fully registered their SIM cards and not otherwise.

“The telcos were implementing the policy that if the person has not registered, there should be certain categorization so that in a day or two those persons will not be able to make calls and it did not mean that if you have registered fully that should apply to you.”

He, however, urged persons who have fully registered and have had their SIM card blocked to report to the various telecommunication companies for a resolution.

He assured me that the NCA is also working to rectify any wrongful blockage of SIM cards.

“We have not rested at all. We have been on it throughout replacing private contacts here and there. We have been working with the telcos. There is a technical team that the telcos are working with us on and these matters are being resolved all over the country,” he noted.

The NCA had earlier directed telecommunication companies to begin blocking mobile telephony services to unregistered SIM card users ahead of the September 30 deadline.

According to a statement signed by the Authority’s Director-General, outgoing calls and data services for a sequential batch of numbers will be blocked for 2 days weekly on a rotational basis.

But a pressure group, The People’s Project (TPP), has sued the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Attorney-General (A-G) over the ongoing SIM card re-registration exercise.

They want the apex court to declare the deadline and the associated punitive measures null and void.

In a writ issued on Friday, September 9, the group said the exercise is being done capriciously. They are therefore seeking:

“A declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Articles 2, 23, and 296 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the directive by the Minister for Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful on Sunday, July 31, 2022, that the 1st Defendant will ensure that all SIM cards that are not re-registered by 30th September 2022 will be blocked while the National Identification Authority has not been able to issue the Ghana card which is the only card to be used for the said re-registration exercise to all Ghanaians is arbitrary, capricious, amounts to an abuse of discretion and same is unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect.”

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