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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Pantami puts suspension of USSD on hold - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has directed that the impending suspension of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) options by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) be put on hold, reports 

The suspension, ITREALMS  gathered was given by the MNOs through the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) to take effect on Monday, 15th of March, 2021, due to the lingering debt owed MNOs to the tune of N42 billion by commercial banks for the provision of USSD banking services.

Confirming this to 
ITREALMS, the Technical Assistant (Information Technology) to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Femi Adeluyi, said it follows on the directives of the Minister on the 20th of October 2019, that consumers of telecommunication services and the general public were notified of the immediate suspension of End User Billing for financial transactions through USSD channels.

He also said in a press statement available to 
ITREALMS tagged 'Impending suspension of USSD banking services put on hold' that 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," he said, stressing that 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.

ALSO READ: N42bn indebtedness: Telcos to shut down USSD options - ITREALMS

In addition, he noted that in a bid to ensure an amicable resolution of the impasse, Dr 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, Adeluyi said would determine the next steps regarding the status of the USSD financial services.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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