The federal government has opposed the move of telcos to increase charges on use unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels to access banking services.
Some telecommunications network service provide had sent notices to their subscribers that with effect from October 21, USSD will attract extra charges.
“Please note that from Oct 21, we will charge N4 per 20 seconds for USSD access to banking services. Thank you,” read a notification MTN sent to customers on Sunday.
But a few hours after this message went viral, Isa Pantami, minister of communications, directed telcos to halt the plan.
“The attention of the federal ministry of communications has been drawn to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Niger ia and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019,” he said in a statement, Uwa Suleiman, spokeswoman of the ministry, issued on his behalf.
“The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FllM is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ensures the operator suspends such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed.”
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