“No Service Is Free”: NCC, CBN Settle Long-Standing Disagreement Between Telcos and Banks

“No Service Is Free”: NCC, CBN Settle Long-Standing Disagreement Between Telcos and Banks

  • The long-standing tussle between telecommunications and commercial banks has finally been resolved
  • The banks owed MTN, Airtel, and other network providers N120 billion for the use of the USSD platform
  • USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBS and all financial institutions has a flat fee of N6. 98 per transaction

Telecommunications companies and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have finally resolved their disagreement over N120 billion debt arising from the billing of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, disclosed this at Telecom Executives and Regulators Forum (TERF) held recently in Lagos.

MTN banks
The NCC and CBN were mediators to the N120 billion disagreement Photo credit: NCC
Source: Facebook

The banks were owing the network providers from using the USSD platform, which is charged on a corporate billing rather than end-user billing as the DMBs prefer.

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Danbatta, while speaking on the matter, explained that the disagreement over the billing system led to the increase in the debt.

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The NCC chief also revealed that the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Led to the settlement.

He also noted that without the telcos, the CBN’s financial inclusion programme would not have achieved about 70 percent.

His words:

“The USSD service is being provided to the banks, who in turn provide the service to their customers. The question was who should be paying for the service.
“They wanted end-user billing, but we said the service is being provided to the banks, not to their customers.
“The banks charge their customers for the service, and they are to pay the telcos in the form of corporate billing, which is neat.

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“Then, along the way, there was a misunderstanding and the debt kept piling until it reached a humongous amount of over N100 billion.
“Even at that, the service was still being provided to customers by the banks using the telecom infrastructure, and the telcos were being paid nothing. This was despite the intervention of the immediate past Minister."

Revealing the reason the CBN and the banks came to an agreement with the telcos, Danbatta stated that the two sectors need each other.

He said:

“And as such, there shouldn’t be any problem paying for the service. No service is free. Pay the telcos, that’s all we ask. Okay, and as we’re saying, Now, pay them for the debt, the accumulated debt, and then pay them for the service they are rendering as we speak.
“At a meeting between the acting CBN governor, the NCC, the telcos and the banks, it was acknowledged that the debt exists, that going forward, the service has to be paid for by the banks through corporate billing.

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“It is an important development for the telecoms industry that we have found an amicable resolution to the problem because we’re all serving the same government. We do not want to disrupt financial services in the country.
“We want to see the financial inclusion penetratn to even go higher. We want it to be ubiquitous, but we cannot do this without settling the legacy debt, as well as paying for the service that is being provided.”

"Shine your eyes, no fall mugu": NCC warns Nigerians, exposes fraudsters tricks

Meanwhile, in another report, the NCC has received 20,000 complaints from Nigerians who have fallen victim to telecom fraud.

The commission revealed that many fraudsters pose as telecom operators or loan sharks to deceive people and extract money from them.

NCC wants Nigerians to be vigilant and exercise caution when dealing with suspicious phone calls, messages, or requests.

Source: Legit.ng

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