FG suspends impending withdrawal of USSD banking services by MNO
The federal government, through its minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami has directed Mobile Number Operators (MNOs) to put on hold the impending suspension of the USSD banking services.
The telcos had announced a planned suspension of the services starting from Monday March 15, to show their grievances over a N42 billion debt payable to the MNOs by banks whose customers use the USSD platform to perform financial transactions.
The put-on-hold directive was made known in a statement signed by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Femi Adeluyi.
Following the directives of the Minister on the 20th of October 2019, consumers of telecommunication services and the general public were notified of the immediate suspension of End User Billing for financial transactions through USSD channels.
Furthermore, as part of measures aimed at addressing the lingering issue of the impasse in the rendering of USSD services to Banks and other financial institutions by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), an amended Determination on USSD Pricing was issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the 24th of July 2020.
However, the issue persisted, hence the decision to suspend the service.
The Minister sent a letter with respect to the issues to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 3rd of March 2021, regarding the need to direct the banks to do the needful.
In a bid to ensure an amicable resolution of the impasse, Pantami has called for a meeting of all stakeholders, including the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, the MNOs and the financial institutions.
The meeting is scheduled to hold on Monday, 15th of March, 2021.
The outcome of the meeting will determine the next steps regarding the status of the USSD banking services.