Finacial institutions are owing telecommunications operators N17 billion in Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) charges.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, made the disclosure during a webinar organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) titled “Telecoms and ICT Consumers in the Era of COVID-19 and Post COVID-19 Pandemic cum Digital Economy Era with a View to Meeting the New Broadband Target.”
He said the debt mounted from last October when the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, directed the mobile network operators (MNOs) to stop charging consumers the N4 per 20 seconds USSD fee.
The hornet’s nest was stirred by MTN when it notified its over 60 million customers in Nigeria of the development via a text message which read: “Please note that from Oct 21, we will charge N4 per 20 seconds for USSD access to banking services. Please, contact your bank for more info. Thank you.”