MTN, banks meet Tuesday, customers reconnected to USSD

MTN customers have been reconnected to banking channels after commercial banks had blocked them from using their channels, including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps on Friday.

The channels were blocked as a result of MTN reducing the banks’ commission on USSD airtime to 2.5 per cent.

However, following the intervention by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, as well as the Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN agreed to revert back to 4.5 per cent commission.

In a letter signed by MTN Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, on Saturday and addressed to the Chairman of Body of Banks’ CEOs, Herbert Wigwe, Toriola said a meeting for the reduction of the charges would be held on Tuesday.

The letter was a follow-up to the virtual meeting held Saturday morning by Toriola, Wigwe, Managing Director/CEO, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Segun Agbaje and MTN Nigeria’s Chief Financial Officer, Modupe Kadri.

The letter, which copied the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the NCC, read in part, “In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the intervention of our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks revert to the status quo of 4.5 per cent commission.

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“However, the banks and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the reduction in the costs on 6th of April 2021.”

Pantami confirmed the reconnection of MTN customers to banking channels when he tweeted on Sunday, “The services have been restored since early morning today. Best wishes.”

In a statement seen by our correspondent, Tariola gave the assurance that the company would do what was necessary to reduce customers’ inconvenience.

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