Senate frowns at banks' USSD charges, says it undermines FG's plan for the poor

Senate frowns at banks' USSD charges, says it undermines FG's plan for the poor

- Senate has frowned at new USSD charges imposed on mobile subscribers in Nigeria

- According to Senator Uba Sani, the USSD charges would undermine FG's plan for the poor

- Isa Pantami, the minister of communication and digital economy, had said the telecom companies in the country would be sanctioned over the new charges

The Nigerian Senate has frowned at the recent USSD charges imposed on Nigerians seeking to engage in financial transactions via their mobile phones.

Legit.ng's regional reporter in Kaduna, Nasir Dambatta, reports that the lawmaker representing Kaduna central and chairman Senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial services, Malam Uba Sani, said on Thursday, October 24, that the new charges would undermine federal government's plan for the poor.

Senator Sani who said he was dismayed by the revelation, observed that various studies conducted by domestic and international research institutions, showed close to 33 percent of eligible Nigerians were unable to obtain banking services due to the high cost associated with such services.

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He said: "This recent action undermines our national objective of making sure poor and vulnerable Nigerians are able to open and operate bank accounts. Our committee does not intend to sit idly by, and watch firms exploit vulnerable Nigerians, by imposing an additional burden on them.

"We urge all parties to immediately suspend the recent imposition of new USSD charges. Our committee will engage with the key stakeholders in order to ensure that vulnerable Nigerians are protected from predatory pricing by firms."

Senator Sani noted that the financial inclusion remains a paramount objective of his committee as improved access to finance could help support economic growth and enable under-served Nigerians to obtain financial services, which can support the growth of their business activities and welfare in general.

"All hands must therefore be on deck to ensure the implementation of policies and programs that would improve access to finance for all eligible Nigerians," he said.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Pantami said the telecom companies in the country would be sanctioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) if found making illegal deductions from mobile subscribers.

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Source: Legit.ng

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