The Ministry of Communication is urging Ghanaians to re-register all Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards by June 2020 next year. The re-registration exercise is expected to last for a period of six months, starting from January to June to 2020.
This was made known when the Minister for Communication, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekufu, took her turn at the meet-the-press series in Accra.
The Minister explained that the re-registration would require documents such as passport, voters ID card, National ID and driving license, adding that the exercise would enable the Ministry and the telecommunication companies to get accurate information about mobile phone users and to also reduce mobile phone related crimes such as pranks calls and mobile money fraud.
"It is also intended to help the law enforcement agencies to identify the SIM card owners, track criminals who use phones for illegal activities, curb incidents such as phone theft, hate text messages, mobile fraud activities and inciting violence and to combat crime such as SIM Box fraud," she added.
The Minister disclosed that recent figures revealed that cyber-crime had cost the global economy as much as $600 billion in 2017 and was expected to rise to $21 trillion by 2021, thus 74 percent of all businesses could be affected by that in the coming year.
She added that due to lack of Information Telecommunication standardisation, lack of required skill set and inadequate technical measures as well as insufficient knowledge and general awareness on cyber risk, Ghana was at risk.
To combat cybercrime, Mrs Owusu mentioned that the government was taking some steps to scale up Ghana's cybersecurity readiness and protect the Critical National Infrastructure (CNIR).
According to her, the increase in Communication Service Tax (CST) from 6 percent to 9 percent was to provide revenue for cybersecurity initiatives to protect the digital infrastructure being used by the public and the private sector.
She indicated that Ghana and other countries in the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) were working on the implementation of free-roaming on the Public Mobile Communication Network in the sub-region to create an enabling environment for the International Mobil roaming and to ensure affordable access on roaming services.