Operators in the telecommunications sector of the country have insisted on charging the new fee for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
Despite warnings opposition from the Nigerian Ministry of Communications and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as massive outrage from the public.
USSD is used by customers for performing financial transactions by sending text messages between an application program in your mobile network and mobile phone.
According to the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), telcos said the new charging fee was a consensus of telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
However, a regulatory document from the telecoms regulator shows that mobile network operators’ charges on USSD should not be more than N4.89k for a USSD service session.
The notification to commence the new charges was received by subscribers on the MTN network, however, ALTON had suggested that all mobile network operators were supposed to implement the new charging fees as directed by the regulators.
Mr. Gbolahan Awonuga, ALTON’s Administrative Secretary said that the USSD service didn’t come out of the blues, it was as a result of a study conducted by NCC and industry working group (IWG), in 2017 by the regulators and got implemented in May 2019.
Awonuga argued that if the CBN is protective of the banks, why wouldn’t they of protecting telecom operators. “It is not about the good boy, but this is commercial and the normal things have been done. Operators did not come up overnight to charge N4. It was deliberated upon and a decision was taken,”
On Sunday, Mr. Issa Pantami, the Minister of Communications had given a directive that telcos shouldn’t go ahead with the planned charges. Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor had also opposed the plan stating that it was against the bank’s policy.
USSD was introduced to drive the financial inclusion narrative by making certain banking services easily accessible.
With the new planned charges, customers will every minute part away with N12 using USSD
Featured Image: investorsking
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