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A Digital Marketing Strategist and Technology Consultant, Mr Maximus Ametorgoh, has called for the authentication of existing SIM cards rather than a wholesale re-registration of all SIM cards as directed by the Minister of Communication a few days ago.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful on Monday directed all mobile phone subscribers to re-register their SIM cards with valid national IDs by June 2020 or face deactivation.

“The Ministry has consulted all the relevant stakeholders and, hereby, announces that from 1 January 2020, we will all be required to re-register our SIM cards. Any SIM card which is not registered will be deactivated by June 2020, giving a six-month time frame for this exercise. We entreat all citizens, residents and visitors to cooperate to ensure the success of this exercise for our collective security,” Mrs Owusu-Ekuful told the media when she took her turn at the Meet-The-Press series.

Speaking to Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Tuesday, 15 October 2019, Mr Ametorgoh, however, said: “The solution is that, at least, Ghana has about 130 per cent mobile subscription penetration and it means that a lot of people have been registered or SIMcards have been registered.

“So, just tell people who have not registered their SIM cards properly to go and do that instead of saying 30 million people should register their old SIM again and we don’t even know the database you’re going to run it by.

“Which system are you going to run the names by so that when I come and I say: ‘My name is Juliet Mensah’, [you can verify], because collecting somebody’s data doesn’t give credibility to that data on its own, you need other systems to authenticate that – like the school I attend, the church I go to, all those data you have to go to some other sources to authenticate it, so, let’s have a way of authenticating the existing registered mobile subscribers from other sources so that those who don’t have some level of authentication will be the ones to do the re-registering”, he suggested.

According to him, the fraudsters and criminals who use their mobile phones to perpetrate crimes are not “foolish” people who will use their real names and identity to register their SIM cards.