• MTN Nigeria has called for a stakeholders' meeting over direct USSD billing on customers.
  • Maintaining its position on the N4 USSD per transaction, MTN Nigeria says the directive came from the Bank of Bank CEOs.
  • Regulators have asked parties to put the idea on hold.

MTN Nigeria on Thursday confirmed that it has put on hold the plan to charge N4 on USSD service as directed by the Bank of Bank CEOs.

Uto Ukpanah, the company's secretary, made this known in a statement released on Thursday, October 24th, 2019. 

Ferdi Moolman, the CEO of MTN Nigeria
Ferdi Moolman, the CEO of MTN Nigeria

The telecoms firm said it is committed to meet with all parties involved in the controversial N4 USSD charge and find a lasting solution to the issue.

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"The SMS notification to our customers is reflective of this commitment and was sent after formal requests received from individual banks as well as the Body of Bank CEOs to implement end-user billing - a billing methodology where a customer is directly charged USSD access fee irrespective of the service charge that the bank may subsequently apply.”

Explaining how the USSD charge works, MTN Nigeria said up-till now banks have been enjoying the corporate billing plan of USSD at a wholesale price.

We believe the costs associated with USSD banking services should be charged to the customer only once - as with other USSD based services we provide, which we believe has been adequately provided for within existing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guidelines,” the telco said.

The Bank of Bank CEOs had proposed to telecom companies, including MTN Nigeria, to charge customers directly for USSD services. Industry players, stakeholders, and regulators frowned at it.

Both the CBN and NCC had asked parties to maintain the status quo.