Pantami warns Telcos against blocking bank USSD services

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The federal government has moved to intervene in the dispute between Nigerian banks and telecommunication companies, directing the latter to suspend its plans to withdraw USSD services from banks.

A press statement signed by Femi Adeluyi, the Technical Assistant on Information Technology to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami on Saturday read:

‘’The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has directed that the impending suspension of the USSD services by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) be put on hold.

“In a bid to ensure amicable resolution of the impasse, Dr Pantami has called for a meeting of all stakeholders, including Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission), the MNOs (Mobile Network Operators), and the financial institutions.”

Mr. Pantami’s call follows the decision of telecoms services providers, under the aegis of Association of Licenced Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), to withdraw USSD services due to the N42 billion accumulated debt owed by banks. The shut out is billed to commence from Monday.

The outcome of the meeting called by the minister for Monday would determine the next step regarding the status of the financial services.

Peoples Gazette had reported that ALTON said the service withdrawal was necessary as both parties had yet to agree on a payment structure with the banks that did not involve the consumer paying.

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