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Shehu Sani blames CBN for telcos’ planned USSD transaction charges



Former Kaduna lawmaker, Shehu Sani has blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the new charges imposed by MTN for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) access to banking services.

The telecommunications company had sent a message to its mobile customers stating that with effect from October 21, 2019, N4 would be charged on every 20 seconds spent while accessing banking services via USSD.

The CBN had opposed the USSD charges, saying it would not allow that to happen.

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CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, speaking at a news briefing in Washington on Sunday, explained that about five months ago, he held a meeting with some telecom companies as well as the leading banks in Nigeria at Central Bank, Lagos.

“At that time, we came to a conclusion that the use of USSD is a sunk cost. What we mean by a sunk cost is that it is not an additional cost on the infrastructure of the telecom company.

“But the telecom companies disagreed with us, they said it is an additional investment on infrastructure and for that reason they needed to impose it.

“I have told the banks that we will not allow this to happen. The banks are the people who give this business to the telecom companies and I leave the banks and the telecom companies to engage,“ he said.

Reacting, Sani on his Twitter page, wrote: “The MTN learned from the CBN and the CBN is telling the MTN that its wrong.”

He also commended the federal government over the recent order on audit of NDDC.

“With trillions of Naira in debt,the audit of the NDDC as ordered by the FG is a step in the right direction and commendable,” Sani added.

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