Banks disown MTN and say they made no demand for USSD charge

Most Nigerians got a text message from MTN who is the most popular network service in the country, claiming that Nigerian banks have asked them to impose a new charge. Just went Nigerians were on the verge of staging a protest against it, all the banks have denied asking MTN to impose a new charge on customers for using the telecom company access codes to conduct any financial transactions.

MTN on Sunday announced and sent a text message that a N4 charge would henceforth be deducted for every 20 seconds of using USSD bank codes, claiming it took the decision as requested by the banks.

The governing body in charge of Telecommunications, however, ordered the suspension of the said plan after many Nigerians expressed outrage at a time citizens have been caused to pay more in taxes and other charges. The Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, said he was not carried along before the announcement was publicised by MTN.

The CEOs of the Body of Banks said in a statement on Monday 21st October 2019, that MTN had claimed that the banks called for the charges which were untrue.

The group said: “The banks never asked MTN to start charging customers as stated in the text message. The decision on whether, or not to charge and whatever amount to charge a customer for assessing USSD is entirely based on the telecom company and what they want, in the same way a customer might be billed for calls, SMS and data bundle.”

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