FG Orders Telecoms Operators to Stop USSD Charges

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SWITZERLAND, OCTOBER 21 – The Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has said that he was not aware of an alleged plan by MTN Nigeria to start charging four Kobo for USSD service beginning from Monday, October 21.

Some telecoms subscribers alleged that, on Sunday, they received text messages from their service providers informing them that those who use unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels to access banking services would have to pay new charges as from October 21.

However, the Federal Ministry of Communications has ordered a discontinuation of the idea by MTN or any other telecoms service provider in the country.

The minister’s response was contained in a Sunday afternoon tweet via the ministry’s official Twitter handle @ngrcommtech.

Below is the full statement:

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria 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.

The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission ensures the operator suspends such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed.

Uwa Suleiman (Mrs)
Spokesperson to the Honourable Minister of Communications
20th October 2019

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