USSD Charge: MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile Risk Court Battle

USSD Charge: MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile Risk Court Battle

- Network providers have been told to stop the increase of the USSD fee or face a lawsuit

- The Association of subscribers said the banks should have been made to pay the extra fee instead of placing it on customers

- Financial expert, Tunji Andrews, said the hike in price will affect the essence of USSD in financial inclusion

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The President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers of Nigeria, Deolu Ogunbanjo, has threatened to take MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Glo and 9mobile to court for increasing the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) service charge to N6.98.

Ogunbanjo said the deposit money should have been the extra fee rather than placing the cost burden on subscribers. Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had met over the USSD fee.

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The meeting led to a new charge of N6.98kobo for every session. The decision was taken to resolve the faceoff between the banks and the network providers over the USSD commission.

Ogunbanjo described the increase as appalling and condemnable:

"Everything in telecoms that’s meant to put smiling faces on subscriber faces is now being eroded.
"Why should they increase the USSD transaction fee? It’s appalling and condemnable, and we’ll take it up with them,” Ogunbajo said in a Punch report.
USSD charge: MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile risk court battle
Airtel Bharti building (R) and MTN logo (L). Photo: Nasir Kachroo/Nur/Gettyimages and @MTNGroup/Twitter
Source: UGC

The national president of the Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers, Sina Bilesanmi, called the decision an exploitative and dictatorial act which will be challenged in court if the CBN doesn't stop it.

“It is exploitative and this dictatorial act must stop forthwith. I am amazed that the same CBN that was initially opposed to the unjustified increase in USSD service charge in 2019 now made the announcement of the hike."

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He added that:

“If the Central Bank of Nigeria and telecommunication companies did not revert to the previous rate, we shall institute a legal action against them."

Meanwhile, financial expert, Tunji Andrews, stated that the increase might prevent a surge in usage of the USSD code which was meant to expand financial inclusion.

“This may not go down too well with the majority who use the service. It is unlikely to increase the use of the USSD channels as it realistically does not hold a drastic change for users. It can however reduce the use of USSD, if not properly managed."

Meanwhile, had previously reported how Kwik Delivery became a household name in the logistics market through its unique business model.

This aided the client growth of the company from zero to 50,000 within two years. The founder, Romain Poirot-Lellig, said competitors have been a catalyst for growth.

He also stated that Kwik Delivery is still planning to expand its presence in Sub-saharan Africa, but the focus is on English-speaking countries.


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