Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalisation has warned qwik loan customers who do not want to pay their debt hence, refusing to re-register their SIM cards that they would be found out.
She described their action as evil corruption.
It is recalled that Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament, Samuel Nartey George, said some qwik loan customers who were yet to settle their debt had decided not to pay and were waiting for their SIM to be blocked.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 30 in connection with the earlier plan to end the SIM re-registration by today, Sunday July 31, Sam George said “You have qwik loan customers who have taken facilities and people are holding back and not wanting to pay, they are saying, okay, if you want to deactivate my SIM, let’s deactivate it.
“It is a disincentive for you to attract investor into the tech space. Don’t forget that this quick loan has created a space for a new cadre of small scale businesses, people who take ¢500 or ¢1000 and turn it around and run businesses and pay these facilities back.
“The Qwikloan, at times, has put food on the table of families, you can’t underestimate the value of this. Right now, industry players are going to be scared. How do I put in money into an industry like OTT [Operate Over the Internet] when a policy directive one day could cost me millions or billions of dollars. These are the kind of policy incoherence we need to talk about.”
But addressing a press conference in Accra on Sunday July 31, the Communications Minister said “I have also been informed that some people who have obtained qwik loans from their service providers have decided not to register those SIMs to avoid repaying the loans. That is evil corruption and you will be found out.”
She further announced the extension of the deadline for the re-registration exercise.
“The Mobile Network Operators MNOs and the National Communications Authority (NCA) (and I dare say the National Identification Authority have all engaged additional staff, procured the necessary logistics and are incurring significant expenses to conduct this exercise successfully. Any extension of the process increases their cost. Upon consultation with the industry and in view of the challenges enumerated above, I have very reluctantly decided to grant a final conditional extension.
“The programme will be extended to 30th September to end on the anniversary of its commencement. That will give us one full year of SIM registration. It will be reviewed at the end of this month and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from receiving certain services including voice and data services.
“It will also be more expensive to use unregistered SIMs. The full range of punitive measures will be announced at another press briefing in September. Kindly do not blame your service provider when you suffer that fate due to your own inaction. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”