Connect with us


MTN, Airtel, others to disconnect banks’ USSD code over N80 billion debt



The Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, has disclosed that network providers will disconnect banks from the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code.

ALTON, the umbrella body for MTN Nigeria, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile amongst others, had disclosed that the banks have failed to remit commission from the charges of the USSD used by bank account holders for electronic transactions.

The debt has risen to N80 billion as of November 2022 from N32 billion in 2019. As a result of the growing debt, the network providers have continued to threaten disconnection.

Ripples Nigeria had reported in September that the telecommunications companies lamented the banks’ refusal to remit commission to the telcos despite the USSD charge raised to N6.98 per transaction effective from March 16, 2021, to enable both parties share from the proceeds.

In a report by Punch on Friday, Adebayo said, “We have sought regulatory approval to pursue partial removal. We would start disconnecting those who owe us in batches, a highest debtor scenario.Read more

READ ALSO:Nigerians spend N479bn on MTN airtime, data, others in three months

“We don’t know as regards the timing because we are required to get approval before acting. But we would certainly commence the process once it is approved. The amount is over N80bn, it is not yet up to N90bn, but it is up to that.”

It was gathered that the highest debtor will first be disconnected, then others will follow as well.

The Head of Operations, ALTON, Gbolahan Awonuga, said the phase one disconnection will happen between January to March 2022.

“The debt is a lot now. The banks are charging customers. We could have done it but because we are. It will get to a time before we do that. Before we can do that, we need to get regulatory approval. I cannot give you a timeline.

“This could happen around the first quarter. This would affect the CBN’s cashless policy. How many people use Internet banking? This is likely going to happen in the first quarter and is around the N80bn,” Awonuga said.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now