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SIM re-registration: NCA lawyer apologizes for ‘use gong gong, talking drum’ comment

SIM card users given end of March 2022 to complete reregistration process

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Group declares February 8 as “No Calls Day” to protest against SIM reregistration process

The Director of Legal Services at the National Communication Authority, Dr. Poku Adusei has rendered an apology to the general public over some comments he made concerning the ongoing SIM card registration process.

Dr. Poku Adusei on Friday, January 14, 2022, hit hard at a group that raised concerns about the “current inhumane re-registration process.”

The group, Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers, in a press statement dated January 13, 2022, rallied Ghanaians not to make or receive calls on February 8, 2022, as a form of protest against the activity being rolled out by the NCA.They further argued that the was no law backing the NCA’s decision to have all SIM cards re-registered.

“We, the undersigned Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers, having consulted Ghanaians across the country, have set aside Tuesday 8th February 2022 as a “No Calls Day.” On that day, we call on all Ghanaians not to make or receive phone calls as a way of registering our disquiet about the circus surrounding the SIM card re-registration exercise.

“The No Calls Day boycott on 8th February would be the first in a series of national boycotts to protest against the current inhumane process of re-registration of SIM cards. There is no law in Ghana that requires Ghanaian mobile network subscribers to “Re-register” their SIM cards. Any attempt to impose this on subscribers or block their lines would amount to an infringement of their property rights,” part of the statement read.

But reacting to the group’s concerns, Dr. Poku Adusei questioned the basis of their argument, adding that the group can resort to the use of traditional means of communicating should their SIM cards be blocked if they fail to re-register it by the March 31st deadline.

“When people speak as if they know all the laws of Ghana, I shudder! Claims that there is no law the requires SIM cards to be registered or re-registered is bogus, to say the least. What law were their original SIMs registered under? Or they bought pre-registered SIMs? Even pre-registered SIMs are registered in someone’s name. Re-re..means there existed a law for the initial re-. Too many luminaries and ‘agendapreneurs’ in this land. Concerned whoever should go and read L.I. 2006, L.I. 2111 and E.I. 63 and come again!!!

“We pray they resort to the use of fax, telegram, gong-gong, and talking drum henceforth. A privilege to subscribe to SIMs on your own becomes an absolute property right for which no checks could be imposed? Asinine,” Dr. Poku Adusei wrote on his Facebook wall.

Following public backlash he received for his post, he has apologized stating that his comment has been “given a certain mis-impression.”

Dr. Poku Adusei has consequently stated that he has deleted the post to make amends.

“In my earlier post, I had sought to highlight the importance of the SIM registration exercise and the fact that same is backed by law. However, my subsequent post seems to have given a certain mis-impression. If my post offended anyone, I apologise.

“I must state that I did not any way intend to slight well-meaning Ghanaians, who were communicating their challenges with SIM registration exercise. I have subsequently, and in recognition of the views and sensibilities of others, deleted the post,” he posted on his social media handle on Friday, January 14, 2021.

He also assured of the NCA’s commitment to resolving all challenges that have greeted the rollout of the SIM reregistration

“I am aware of the tireless efforts being made by the NCA, the telcos, and the technical partners to redress any challenges associated with the SIM registration exercise. Evidently, the technical efforts to redress these challenges and to ensure a seamless SIM registration exercise are yielding fruits,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, a member of the Concerned Mobile Network Subscribers and investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has reacted to the post of the NCA lawyer saying “Well done, sir. Apology accepted.”

Read below Dr. Poku Adusei’s full apology statement

Folks, good afternoon. I have observed the concerns being expressed by people on my Facebook post yesterday. In my earlier post, I had sought to highlight the importance of the SIM registration exercise and the fact that same is backed by law. However, my subsequent post seems to have given a certain mis-impression.

If my post offended anyone, I apologise.

I must state that I did not any way intend to slight well-meaning Ghanaians, who were communicating their challenges with SIM registration exercise. I have subsequently, and in recognition of the views and sensibilities of others, deleted the post.

I am aware of the tireless efforts being made by the NCA, the telcos, and the technical partners to redress any challenges associated with the SIM registration exercise. Evidently, the technical efforts to redress these challenges and to ensure a seamless SIM registration exercise are yielding fruits.

ENDS

Dr. Poku Adusei ESQ

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