Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has made a revealation, which indicated that commercial banks are owing telecommunications companies over N17 billion.
The debt was as a result of the regulator’s suspension of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) pricing last year.
However, the NCC, in the interests of consumers, had recently revised the Determination on the USSD.
The amendment to the USSD Determination by NCC was necessitated by a protracted dispute between Mobile Network Operators and Financial Institutions on the applicable charges for USSD services and the method of billing.
The NCC’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who made this statement on behalf of Danbatta stressed that the Commission revised the Determination to enable Mobile Network Operators and the banks negotiate rates that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.
The NCC also warned that Mobile Network Operators must not charge the consumers directly for the use of USSD channels for financial services in the form of end-user-billing, but revert to corporate billing.
The transaction should be between the MNOs and the entity to which the service is provided (i.e. Banks and Financial Institutions).
According to Danbatta, “the Commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.”