Bank customers in Nigeria using unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) service will hence forth pay a flat fee of N6.98 for each transaction made.

This new charge was agreed by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

This was revealed in a joint statement released by the CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Tuesday, the new charges replaces the current per billing structure.

Telcos recently announced their plan to suspend USSD services due to over N42 billion debt owed by financial service providers.

But Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, had asked the telcos to halt their strike.

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According to the statement, Pantami chaired a meeting of key stakeholders to discuss an amicable resolution in the interest of the general public.

It was resolved that effective March 16, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs and all CBN – licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.08 per transaction.

“This replaces the current per session billing structure, ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion. This approach is transparent and will ensure the amount remains the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction,” the statement reads.

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To promote transparency in its administration, the new USSD charges will be collected on behalf of MNOs directly from customers bank accounts. Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for use of the USSD channel.

“A settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, previously rendered by the MNOs, is being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved.”

It noted that the impending suspension of banks from the USSD channel is hereby vacated.

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