USSD: Banks owe MTN, Airtel, other Telcos N17bn – Danbatta

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has revealed that commercial banks are owing telecommunications companies over N17 billion

The debt was accrued following the regulator’s suspension of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Pricing last year.

The NCC, in the interests of consumers, had recently revised the Determination on the USSD.

The amendment to the USSD Determination by NCC was necessitated by a protracted dispute between Mobile Network Operators and Financial Institutions on the applicable charges for USSD services and the method of billing.

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Danbatta in a statement by NCC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, stressed that the Commission revised the Determination to enable Mobile Network Operators and the banks negotiate rates that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.

The NCC also warned that Mobile Network Operators must not charge the consumers directly for the use of USSD channels for financial services in the form of end-user-billing, but revert to corporate billing.

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The transaction should be between the MNOs and the entity to which the service is provided (i.e. Banks and Financial Institutions).

Danbatta added that “the Commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.”

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