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SocialMediaTrends: ‘CBN attacking the poor’ – Nigerians massively oppose new USSD charge & more



Nigerians on social media have massively opposed the new directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which imposes a new flat charge of N6.98k for customers using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services, effective from Tuesday, March 16.

The Apex bank, in a joint statement with the Nigerian Communications Commission, said the new charge was part of the agreement reached when banks and telecommunication operators met on Monday to discuss the N42bn debt owed mobile operators by commercial banks.

Many who considered the development as outrageous have opined that the President Muhammadu Buhari government may infact be targeting the poor.

See reactions below:


The hashtag gained traction among aggrieved Nigerians who are decrying the inhumane treatment metted out to one Kaduna-based businessman, Alhaji Mahadi Shehu, who blew the whistle on the Masari-led government following a N52.6 billion fraud allegation and his revelations of ransoms paid to abductors.

In a Twitter post shared by Rights Activist Aisha Yesufu, Mr Shehu was said to have been siezed by security operatives despite battling ailing health, and taken to a Katsina Magistrate court where he was denied access to his attorney and family.

Video footages also showed Shehu in excruciating pain, calling out the Masari government for its brash response to a whistleblower especially one under a democracy.

Recall that the Masari government had filed a law suit against Shehu for alleged Cybercrime with claims that the documents he circulated while accusing the government of fraud, were forged.

See Nigerians’ reaction to the development:

Read Also: SocialMediaTrends: More on Dokubo’s new ‘Biafra govt’, looming ASUU strike & Itunu’s ordeals


Nigerians celebrated the newest collaboration between PayPal and African payment platform, Flutterwave which is set to enable cross-border payments between African merchants and global customers through its “Pay with PayPal” feature.

According to the CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, the service is already available for merchants with registered business accounts on Flutterwave and will be operational across 50 African countries and worldwide.

This new partnership, he said, was in line with the startup’s mission to “simplify payments for endless possibilities” and include all the important payments systems in the world on the platform

These reactions followed:

Niger Republic

Niger Republic trended for the umpteenth time on microblogging platform, Twitter, after President Muhammadu Buhari was reportedly conferred with Niger Republic’s highest national honour, Grand Croix Des Ordre National Du Niger, awarded by the country’s outgoing president, Mahamadou Issoufou.

The Nigerien President said the highest national award of his country was bestowed on President Buhari because of his “fraternity, vigour, patriotism and determination to move Africa forward, starting from the West Coast.”

In his acceptance remark, President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted by his media aide, Femi Adesina to have said, “Nigeria-Niger relations are based on a long common border and shared cultural historical roots. Relations between the two countries have over the years been very cordial and fraternal. There is a spirit of good neighborliness”.

The reactions that followed reflected the usual concerns by most Nigerians over the president’s ‘unfounded’ affinity with the West African state.

…By Okiemute Abraham

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