Facts emerged that starting on Friday, bank customers won’t be able to access online banking transactions that rely on the USSD platform.
These are mobile phone acts taken even when there is no data or internet connection, such as sending money via shortcodes, checking account balances, and checking bank information.
According to the information obtained by Vanguard, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has authorised telecom companies and telcos in Nigeria to stop providing USSD services to banks due to increasing debt that has reached over N120 billion.
Meanwhile, to broker peace, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy had called a meeting between the NCC, telcos and the banks on Thursday, hoping to find a middle ground, but the banks and their regulator shunned the meeting.
Apparently, for that reason, the Minister permitted the NCC to grant operators’ requests to disconnect the banks.
Recall that the telcos and banks have had a running dispute over debts accrued from unpaid charges agreed to by the telcos on whose platforms the USSD services emanate to service the bank customers.
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Several interventions have been made between the NCC, CBN, and relevant ministries, yet the debt profile allegedly keeps rising instead of depleting.
While telcos consistently say banks are nonchalant over their payment obligations to them, the banks in turn appear not to have any defence as to why the debts keep accumulating.
As at the last two interventions by the NCC, CBN and Minister of Communications between 2020 and 2022, the debt profiles were between N42 billion and N80 billion.
But today a reliable source from the operators said it has climbed above N120 billion, vowing that nothing will stop them from withdrawing the services tonight.