The National Identification Authority (NIA) has never expected to register eligible persons in time for the deadline for the SIM card re-registration.
With about two million people aged 15 and above left to be registered, the NIA Executive Secretary, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah, said “there is no way that NIA can register those people. It is technically physically impossible.”
“We had said way back in March that it was impossible. I have said it is like expecting a maiden to make a baby every three months,” he added during a press conference on Friday.
“That is not how the physical and logistical system has been designed to respond. We cannot do that.”
Prof Attafuah also said the National Communications Authority was fully aware of these limitations when prescribing deadlines for the re-registration of SIM cards.
He, however, said such matters were out of his control.
“It is not for NIA to proffer advice on that as it falls outside its mandate,” said Prof Attafuah.
“However, I can say on authority that we have engaged actively with the National Communications Authority, and with the Minister [of Communications and Digitalisation] since last year.”
Persons who fail to comply with the directive to re-register their SIM cards will have them blocked after September 30.
The window for the re-registration of SIM cards was extended on July 31, but a month after the extension, the number of persons who have visited the offices of the network service providers to have their SIMs registered dropped by 98 percent.
The National Communications Authority (NCA) was sued, with a group asking the Supreme Court to declare the deadline for registration and the associated punitive measures for non-registration null and void.
It argued that the punitive measures are unconstitutional.