Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George, has said that the decision to block unregistered SIM cards in Ghana will discourage investors from injecting capital into the telecom space in Ghana.
He said some quick loan customers who are yet to settle their debt have decided not to pay and are waiting for their SIM to be blocked.
If any businessman observes this situation, that person is likely to shy away from investing in the sector because one day, due to government policy, he may lose all his capital investments, he said.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 30, Sam George said “You have quick loan customers who have taken facilities and people are holding back and not wanting to pay, they are saying, okay, if you want to deactivate my SIM, let’s deactivate it.
“It is a disincentive for you to attract investor into the tech space. Don’t forget that this quick loan has created a space for a new cadre of small scale businesses, people who take ¢500 or ¢1000 and turn it around and run businesses and pay these facilities back.
“The quick loan, at times, has put food on the table of families, you can’t underestimate the value of this. Right now, industry players are going to be scared. How do I put in money into an industry like OTT [Operate Over the Internet] when a policy directive one day could cost me millions or billions of dollars. These are the kind of policy incoherence we need to talk about.”
He further said the decision by the government not to extend the deadline for the SIM reregistration is mere talk.
In his view, the deadline will be extended.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Madam Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, served notice that the deadline remains Today Sunday, July 31.
It was earlier pushed forward from 31st March to 31st July.
“More time will be required to update the SIM Registration App for the registration of diplomats, while a Self-Service SIM Registration App is also being developed to facilitate registration of SIM cards for Ghanaians resident abroad.
“This will be operational by mid-April,” a statement issued by Madam Owusu-Ekuful said on Tuesday, March 22.
Addressing a forum in Kumasi on Friday July 22, she appealed to all persons who are yet to re-register their cards to do so before the deadline.
“I therefore appeal to them to do so before the 31st of July,” she said.
But Sam George said “What she said in Kumasi is just talk, it is not true, she will extend it.”
Sam George further noted that some persons are unable to link their Ghana Card to the SIM. When they attempt to do, they receive the invalid input notification, a problem he said is due to system inefficiency.
Also, he said, there are long queues at the registration centers making it cumbersome for people to register.
“You haven’t resolved all these and you are going to punish them for your inefficiency, is that not arbitrary? Is that not capricious?” He asked.