SIM re-registration: Don’t collect ¢5 fee until Parliament approves it – Sam George tells Govt

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Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George, has asked the government to put on hold the fee collection for the SIM re-registration exercise until Parliament endorses the decision to charge fees.

As far as Parliament is concerned, no approval has been given for fees to be charged by the government therefore, any attempt to take money from the people will be illegal, he said.

In announcing an extension of the deadline for re-registering SIM cards, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful on Sunday, July 31 said a new application will be made available for download within the week to enable many to self-register.

“The SIM Registration App will be available for download on both android and IOS this week barring any unforeseen circumstances,” she told journalists.

“Each registration via the app will be subject to a 5 cedi surcharge.”

But speaking in an interview with TV3 on Monday, August 1, Sam George said “This colossal catastrophic failure of the rollout of this SIM registration will be the subject of academic studies in lecture theatres across the world on how not to roll out public policy, she has failed in the rollout of it.

“Policy must be coherent, it must not be discriminatory, if the App is going to allow Ghanaians outside the country to register by virtue of their IP addresses because their IP addresses are residents outside the country, they can be in Ghana here and have an IP address outside, download the VP and use the VP to position yourselves in any other country – Germany, France, wherever and register using your Ghanaian passport. If they won’t think, we will think for them.

“Normally, if the state is offering a service to its citizens, it must come under the Fees and Charges Act, if any fee is charged without the approval of Parliament through the Fees and Charges Act, it is illegal.

“Just before Parliament rose we did some approvals on Fees and Charges Act and this was not part of it and so whatever fees are being announced, it will be illegality as far as Parliament is concerned.

“Ultimately, the Minister has to put on hold any fee collection, the App can run for free until Parliament approves it because Parliament’s approvals are not retrospective.

“It is either she waits and gets the approval before she rolls it out or they can roll it out on a testing phase and allow people to use it and use that as stress testing and when Parliament reconvenes in October, you can then have the fees approved for them.”

Source: GH Standard

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