Thursday, September 29, 2022

N80bn debt: Hold Nigerian banks responsible if your USSD stops working warns ALTON - ITREALMS

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Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, has revealed that Nigeria banks are owing operators some N80 billion for the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) related-debt, reports ITREALMS.
Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo
This, he also said has increased from N42 billion to N80 billion as reported in 2021, just a year after and nearing a point the operators may stop provision of services to affected banks in the country.

Speaking at the ICT Growth Conference 2.0 organised by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), on Thursday in Lagos, on the theme “Creating a Digital Ecosystem in Nigeria: the Hurdles, the Gains” Adebayo that the debt owed ALTON members was for services rendered to banks.

Despite government’s intervention previously, he noted that many banks were not cooperating by way of settling their indebtedness to the operators.

“Some banks are responding while others are not. We're nearing that time when we have no choice but to discontinue the provision of services to banks.

“I think it is dishonourable that our colleagues in that sector know that they have an obligation to service providers and are shying away from it. Banks deduct charges from their customers but refuse to pay telecom operators. You don’t expect us to keep rendering services, when you don’t pay,” he said.

Adebayo equally pointed that if it was the other way round, you could not owe the bank a cent.

ITREALMS recalled that about March 15, 2021, ALTON members threatened to withdraw their USSD services to financial institutions due to N42bn indebtedness but for the intervention of the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), to shelve with the outcome was the introduction of N6.98 per transaction as new charges for customers using the USSD services.

The conference was chaired by the former President of Institute of Software Practitioners (ISPON) Chief Chris Uwaje and was well attended.

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