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Suspend SIM Registration Exercise Now

The former head of the National Identification Authority Dr William Ahadzie has raised alarm over the ongoing SIM registration exercise, saying it is a risky activity and must be halted immediately for further consultations.

According to him, allowing telecommunication companies to undertake biometric enrolment of their customers exposes Ghanaians to all forms of data-related risks including identity theft.

In a statement of Thursday, Dr Ahadzi said: “In the ID world, it is advisable to build only one National biometric (civil) register.

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Read the details of Dr Ahadzi’s statement below:

Dr William Ahadzie writes:

Sim card registration is FAILING

I have still not understood why the Telcos have been permitted to undertake biometric enrolment of their customers. What it means is that each Telco will build a separate Biometric Register with a separate Server.

What is interesting is that the Ghanacard which is the only ID document to be used for the registration was acquired through biometric registration. The following facts are worth considering.

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In the ID world, it is advisable to build only one National biometric (civil) register.

In Ghana, the law allows only the NIA to establish a national BIOMETRIC Register and to share such biometric data with USER agencies under strict conditions (because of the high risk of identity theft ).

Every individual with a phone who has a Ghanacard already has his/her biometrics captured by NIA and stored in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

NIA is capable of generating data of all customers of the Telcos for identity verification and authentication.
Many Ghanaians have multiple phone numbers with different Telcos.

They are moving from one Telco to the other at great personal risk and cost.

So what really is the rationale for putting Ghanaians through new rounds of biometric registration in this era of the COVID pandemic.

For me, our public policymakers are demonstrating, lack of vision and poor collaborative work. The mandate overlaps are unnecessary and show a deliberate intent to impose hardship on citizens.

Government must halt this exercise NOW and undertake more consultation for purposes of using a better approach to SIM registration.

This exercise is failing.

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