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Pantami puts USSD suspension on hold as Stakeholders meet tomorrow




The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMOC&DE), Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has intervened over the impending suspension of the USSD banking services by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The Minister, gathered, has directed the MNOs to put the planned suspension on hold while stakeholders meeting will now hold tomorrow, Monday, March 15, 2021.

The suspension, which was to take effect on Monday, 15th of March, 2021, was due to the lingering debt owed MNOs by commercial banks for the provision of USSD banking services.

The Minister gave the directive to put on hold the suspension of USSD services to banks by telcos was made known in a statement signed by the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister, Dr Femi Adeluyi.

The MNOs had issued a statement last week through the umbrella body – Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) – alerting consumers of telecommunication services and the general public of the plans to suspend 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.

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“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”, the message reads.



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