Crowds surround NIA centers for Ghana Cards, putting 11 million SIM cards at risk of deactivation.

NIA - Rapid News GH

Since the deadline for the exercise has passed today, about 11 million active Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards that have not been re-registered with the Ghana Card yet risk being disconnected and deleted tomorrow.

Following this event, hundreds of people have flocked to several National Identification Authority (NIA) centers in an urgent effort to obtain their Ghana Cards, the majority of whom are attempting to register their SIMs for the first time.

The sole prerequisite identifying document required for the successful completion of SIM card re-registration is the national card.

There were large lines of last-minute card acquirers rushing to finish the process when the Rapid News visited some of the NIA centers, including the authority’s Premium Center at its head office in Shiashie, Accra, and other premium centers in other areas.

Before the May 31 deadline, many customers had come to connect their Ghana Cards to their SIM cards in order to fulfill the NCA requirement.

While there are no crowds at the center, which has the capacity to process 650 applications, the NIA was forced to build canopies outside its rooms to accommodate the growing throng.

Professor Ken Agyeman Attafuah, the NIA’s executive secretary, expressed sorrow that so many people would hurry to pay a premium cost of GH280 for a service that they could have received for free a few weeks earlier.

He claimed that some persons had the mentality to put off getting a Ghana Card until the deadlines were approaching.

According to Prof. Attafuah, the NIA would not be able to issue cards to all of the persons phoning at its premium centers based on its daily operational capacity and that of its main partners, CAL Bank, as well as the current availability of a restricted number of cards.

“At the moment, given the reality and the debt owed the private partners, the public in need of the service is resorting to the premium registration service not by the zest and urgency of their needs, but by the laid-down procedures, and we are trying to cope with this,” he explained. NIA

The NIA Executive Secretary stated that due to the authority’s daily capacity of 650 at its head office and somewhat less of that at other premium centers, it was not possible to give the cards to the thousands of applicants before yesterday’s deadline for SIM card re-registration.

But he added that because of the approaching deadline, the NIA had to round up more staff to assist all of the applicants at its main office premium center yesterday.

Apart from NIA offices, where Ghana Card services may be used without charge, Prof. Attefuah claimed that new registration points had been set up as the deadlines for SIM card re-registration became closer in order to relieve the burden.

“As a responsive state institution, we don’t enjoy watching Ghanaians endure the agony of waiting in lines. Therefore, we provided these possibilities and facilities in the hopes that people would use them at no cost, according to Prof. Attafuah.

He claimed that it had been a common occurrence that whenever the deadline was extended, people grew careless, turning the majority of the cities into “ghost towns.”

When the deadline for the SIM card re-registration was extended, he noted, “We see a phenomenon where the additional re-registration points and the traditional NIA offices become ghost towns and whenever the deadline is approaching then we have a situation of an avalanche of demands and in some cases people stampeding even though this is at a cost.”

Premium service

Although appointments were necessary for the premium service, according to Prof. Attafuah, the NIA opened its doors to hundreds of people in order to help them meet the deadline due to the strong demand.

He said that the NIA had brought seats and canopies to handle the increased crowd size and provide some comfort.

“While the situation is regrettable, it is the way things are, and we must cope with it. It is regrettable that so many people must stand in the heat and wait in line for so long for a paid service that has previously and usually been provided to the public free of charge, said Prof. Attafuah.


Felicia Thornhill, AirtelTigo’s public relations manager, told the Daily Graphic that yesterday, in contrast to the weeks and months prior to the May 31 deadline, a lot more subscribers of AritelTigo attended its facilities to start the re-registration operation.

She advised assisting with registration of all subscribers to prevent deactivation, which would not be advantageous to the firm.

The majority of the company’s workers had been sent out into the field to help subscribers with the re-registration process.

Each employee has also been instructed to contact roughly 10 subscribers who haven’t finished the registration process in order to remind them of the exercise and help them do it.

We have more customers who haven’t finished the registration process, so an extension would be appreciated, Ms. Thornhill said, adding that it will have an impact on our business.


There were roughly 42 million active SIM cards in the nation on October 1, 2021, the day the SIM re-registration procedure began.

They included SIM cards that were linked to IDs including passports, driving licenses, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards, and others.

Many of the IDs were not confirmed when they were used to register the SIMs, according to the National Communications Authority, at whose request the re-registration process was initiated.

As of last month, there were around 36 million active SIM cards in use following the first part of the exercise, of which 25 million (or 69.6%) had been properly reregistered.

This indicates that more than 25.4 million SIM cards had successfully completed Stages 1 and 2 of the SIM Re-Registration, which was carried out using authenticated Ghana Cards.

The remaining 11 million, or 30.4% of the total, are made up of both active SIM cards that have not yet been registered with the Ghana Card using the current procedure and active SIM cards that are exempt depending on certain demographics.

Approximately 6.1 million SIM cards that belonging to subscribers who had only completed stage one of the ongoing registration process have already been cancelled by the NCA.

The mass disconnection of unregistered SIM cards before April 17, 2023 was announced in a similar manner to tomorrow’s deadline for SIM card re-registration.

At the time, 8.65 million subscribers, or 20.40 percent, had not linked their Ghana cards to their SIM cards, while 33.8 million, or 79.60 percent, had only finished the first phase of linking their Ghana cards with the SIM cards.

As a result, the NCA extended the deadline for signing up every subscriber.

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