Africa-Press – Ghana. SIM card registration centres are recording drastic drops in the number of registrants following the extension of the deadline for re-registration. On Monday, when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited some registration centres at AirtelTigo, Vodafone Ghana and MTN, it was observed that the agents were killing time with tents virtually empty.
A week before the deadline, the centres were busy with long meandering queues. As at 1030 hours when GNA arrived at the AirtelTigo office at Adabraka, only 11 customers were regstered; Vodafone Ghana office at Kwame Nkrumah Circle and MTN office at Ridge had registered none as at 1045 hours and 1108 hours respectively.
The agents told GNA that albeit the drop in enthusiasm, they were still hopeful that with time, clients would turn up in their numbers to register their SIMs.
They attributed the low turnout to the usual Ghanaian attitude of waiting till the last minute before getting things done and urged customers to make time out of their busy schedules to get their SIMs registered.
Madam Lydia Danquah, a Vodafone Ghana agent, said before the extension, an agent could register between 70 to 80 customers a day. However, in recent times, an agent registers less than 25 clients a day discouraging many from showing up to work because of the idleness.
“At first, we had eight agents coming to work but now, only two of us show up and even with that one, we have very little work to do. So now, most of my colleagues don’t show up regularly because we only come to sit here and waste time doing nothing,” she said.
She noted that the deadline was good and advised Ghanaians to take advantage of the “grace period” to register and prevent a last-minute rush or cancellation.
The agents at the AirtelTigo office said prior to the deadline extension, each of them registered over 100 clients a day, however, in recent times, they only registered about 40 people.“We used to have so many chairs here but due to the low turnout, we have removed some of the chairs,” an agent said.
Miss Leticia Akplah, an AirtelTigo customer told GNA that her work at a Diaper factory prevented her from getting time to register her SIM. She was grateful for the extension, adding that, had her number been cancelled, it would have greatly affected her transactions.
“Now that Government has extended the deadline, I have come out to do it because the earlier, the better. I am advising all those waiting for the last minute to change their mind,” she said.
The Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation announced the mandatory registration of all SIM cards in Ghana from October 2021. The registration exercise was scheduled to end on July 31, 2022, after which unregistered SIM cards would be deactivated.
The Ministry extended the deadline to September 30, 2022, after many Ghanaians, including the Minority in Parliament called for an extension, stating the inability of some citizens to get the Ghana Card as the reason for the delay in registering.