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BREAKING: Suspend USSD Service Charge by Operators, Minister Orders NCC

By Emmanuel Elebeke

Angered by possible imposition of illegal charges on Nigerian consumers, Nigerian Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has directed the nation’s telecom sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to suspend forth any USSD charges plans by service providers in the country until he is  fully  and properly briefed.

The minister was reacting to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019.

Pantami, Buhari, communications, USSD
Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami

Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami
In a statement on Sunday signed by his Spokesperson, Mrs. Uwa Suleiman, the minister expressed worry that such unknown charges could be announced without his knowledge and ordered the industry regulator to put such charges on hold pending when he is convinced about circumstances surrounding the strange charges.

READ ALSO: Breaking: MTN to start charges on USSD voice, text messages

The statement reads in part:

‘‘The attention of the Federal Ministry of Communications has been drawn to the viral text message allegedly sent by the Mobile Network Operator MTN Nigeria and other Mobile Operators notifying subscribers of a four naira (N4:00) charge per 20 seconds on USSD access to banking services from the 21st of October 2019.”

“The office of the Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM is unaware of this development and has hereby directed the sector regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) ensure the operators suspend such plans until the Honourable Minister is fully and properly briefed.’’

 

 

 

 

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