SIM re-registration: ¢5 charge is not the decision of the telcos – Ashigbey

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Mr Ken Ashigbey has said the ¢5 charge on the new application to be made available for download within the week to enable many to self-register in the SIM re-registration exercise, is not determined by the telecom companies.

He said it is the work of the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization.

In announcing an extension of the deadline for re-registering SIM cards, the sector Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful on Sunday, July 31 said a new application will be made available for download within the week to enable many to self-register.

“The SIM Registration App will be available for download on both android and IOS this week barring any unforeseen circumstances,” she told journalists.

“Each registration via the app will be subject to a 5 cedi surcharge.”

Speaking in an interview with TV3 on this matter, Mr Ken Ashigbey said “This app is not a telco app, this app is an app that the regulator has put in place and so who pays what and how much is paid is not the decision of the telcos.

“The platform is provided by the common platform provider who has developed the platform the NCA to work with it but the data sits at NITA which is a state-owned data centre.”

Meanwhile, Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George, has asked the government to put on hold the fee collection until Parliament endorses the decision to charge fees.

As far as Parliament is concerned, no approval has been given for fees to be charged by the government therefore, any attempt to take money from the people will be an illegality, he said.

Speaking in an interview with TV3 on Monday, August 1, Sam George said “This colossal catastrophic failure of the rollout of this SIM registration will be the subject of academic studies in lecture theatres across the world on how not to roll out public policy, she has failed in the rollout of it.

“Policy must be coherent, it must not be discriminatory, if the App is going to allow Ghanaians outside the country to register by virtue of their IP addresses because their IP addresses are residents outside the country, they can be in Ghana here and have an IP address outside, download the VP and use the VP to position yourselves in any other country – Germany, France, wherever and register using your Ghanaian passport. If they won’t think, we will think for them.

“Normally, if the state is offering a service to its citizens, it must come under the Fees and Charges Act, if any fee is charged without the approval of Parliament through the Fees and Charges Act, it is illegal.

“Just before Parliament rose we did some approvals on Fees and Charges Act and this was not part of it and so whatever fees are being announced, it will be illegality as far as Parliament is concerned.

“Ultimately, the Minister has to put on hold any fee collection, the App can run for free until Parliament approves it because Parliament’s approvals are not retrospective.

“It is either she waits and get the approval before she rolls it out or they can roll it out on a testing phase and allow people to use it and use that as stress testing and when Parliament reconvenes in October, you can then have the fees approved for them.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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