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Shehu Sani reacts as CBN opposes MTN new charges



Former Kaduna lawmaker, Shehu Sani has reacted to announcement of charges by MTN for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) access to banking services from Oct. 21.

MTN had sent a message to its mobile customers that with effect from October 21, 2019, N4 will be charged on every 20 seconds spent while using USSD access to banking services.

“Yello, as requested by your bank, from Oct. 21, we will start charging you directly for USSD access to banking services. Please contact your bank for more info(rmation),’’ the message said.

But reacting, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) opposed plans by MTN to charge their subscribers for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) access to banking services from Oct. 21.

The Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, speaking at the bank’s position at a news briefing by the Nigerian delegation to the just-concluded World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, in Washington on Sunday said the bank would not allow that to happen.

“About five, four months ago, I held a meeting with some telecom companies as well as the leading banks in Nigeria at Central Bank, Lagos.

“At that time, we came to a conclusion that the use of USSD is a sunk cost. What we mean by a sunk cost is that it is not an additional cost on the infrastructure of the telecom company.

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“But the telecom companies disagreed with us, they said it is an additional investment on infrastructure and for that reason they needed to impose it.

“I have told the banks that we will not allow this to happen. The banks are the people who give this business to the telecom companies and I leave the banks and the telecom companies to engage.“

Reacting, Sani on his Twitter page blamed CBN for MTN new charges.

He wrote: “The MTN learned from the CBN and the CBN is telling the MTN that its wrong.”

He also commended the federal government over the recent order on audit of NDDC.

“With trillions of Naira in debt,the audit of the NDDC as ordered by the FG is a step in the right direction and commendable,” Sani added.

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