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MTN: We initially opposed the plan to raise USSD charges

MTN: We initially opposed the plan to raise USSD charges
October 25
19:44 2019
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MTN Nigeria says there is a need for dialogue among stakeholders to resolve issues around proposed charges on unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) channels.

In a statement, Uto Ukpanah, the company secretary, said the company initially resisted calls for end-user billing as suggested by the chief executive officers of deposit money banks.

MTN said it relented after exhausting avenues for engagements. It called for dialogue among stakeholders for a solution to be reached.

“It is in fact in line with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy of the Federal Government that we resisted the calls for end-user billing. We relented only after exhausting avenues of engagement with the banks in pursuit of a model that enabled a single charge,” the statement read.

“We believe separate charges by the banks and telecoms companies are an unnecessary burden on the consumer especially the target group that the National Financial Inclusion Strategy is aimed at.

“With this in mind, it is imperative for all parties to approach the table and engage constructively towards a solution, putting the consumer at the fore of all decisions.

“The banks have been and still are our esteemed customers and valued partners. We look forward to collaborating with them and other stakeholders and will be glad to implement the decisions approved by our Regulators.”

In the heat of the controversy over the attempt to raise USSD charges, bank CEOs had said they didn’t direct MTN  to charge customers for using USSD channels.

But TheCable had exclusively reported that banks proposed to telecom companies to charge customers directly for USSD services.

The federal government had opposed the move to increase USSD charges. Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, told banks to ditch telcos that want to raise charges.

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