Ghanaians cry foul over stressful biometric SIM re-registration experience
Many Ghanaians who have to stand on long queues to have their biometrics captured for the SIM re-registration drive directed recently by the government in Accra are unsatisfied with the process and confused by its purported necessity.
According to GhanaWeb and other local media, citizens of the West African nation have taken to social media platforms to cry out over the stressful experience they are having to go through, especially as the deadline for the exercise fast approaches.
As GhanaWeb reports, some of them have been questioning why the National Identification Authority (NIA) could not make it possible for the re-registration process to be completed through digital means, without citizens having to scramble to attend the Authority’s offices or those of telcos accredited for biometric capture.
While some of the Ghanaians are raising concerns about the fact that having crowds around could serve as a channel to continue spreading the coronavirus, other are wondering why their biometrics have to be captured again when that information is already with the NIA and embedded in the Ghana Card – the national ID document required for the purpose.
Others, per GhanaWeb, are calling on telcos to either make apps available to complete the exercise or draw out a schedule for applicants to avoid overcrowding.
The outlet quotes some of the reactions of Ghanaians on Twitter expressing reprobation about the situation. Tweets cited point out that biometrics were already captured during Ghana Card registration, and that an app or website that allowed applicants to book appointments would reduce the unnecessary queues.
The stressful nature of the exercise notwithstanding, some telcos have expressed their commitment to do all it takes to meet the March 31 deadline, according to this report by Business Ghana.
The ongoing SIM re-registration exercise in Ghana started on October 1, 2021 and is due to end on March 31, 2022. The Ghanaian government has threatened that all SIM cards not re-registered by this deadline will be suspended from the network. It says the reason for this move is to be able to track those who carry out criminal activities using their mobile phones.
The Government has also faced criticism for making the Ghana Card the only ID document accepted for the SIM registration.