Nov 18, 2019

‘You can’t stop us’, MTN to Minister, others; vows to go ahead on USSD charges

October 21, 20193min580

MTN Nigeria on Monday said it will go ahead to charge its customers for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) voice or text message, saying no one can stop them.

The USSD service allows them access to bank services via their mobile phones.

The telecom giant said it would start charging its subscribers from today, being Monday despite a directive by the Federal Government to halt the plan.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also declared the charge as illegal just like the Nigerian Communication Communication has ordered the stoppage of its implementation.

But MTN said the meeting leading to the comment of the charge was entered into with the CBN, the banks and all telecom network service providers.

MTN, however, said the USSD charge is not new as other telecoms coys have been charging that for long.

A staff who spoke with Daily Mail OnLine, preferring not to be named said, the management had ordered the commencement of the charge. He said the management had made it “a fait accompli.”

Attempts to speak with the management of the telecom company was unsuccessful.

A management staff however confided that CBN or NCC, not even the Ministry can stop it because MTN is licenced to carry out business operations and no rule has been broken.

“The rules are clear and we are abiding by the rules. USSD is not new. The manager has said we go ahead, so be it.”

Some customers of the company have received notifications today of its commencement.

One of the messages from MTN read, ‘’Yello, as requested by your bank, charging you directly for USSD access to banking services commences today. Please contact your bank for more info.’’

Daily Mail OnLine reports that N26 will be deducted. While the banks will retain N22, MTN will take the charge of N4.

The initial agreement entered into by the CBN and all telecom companies and banks it was revealed was to allow banks retainership of N18 while telecoms companies take N4.

But MTN has alleged banks retain the whole N22 leaving them with no choice than to charge fresh N4.


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