Telcos threaten to disconnect banks’ USSD subscribers over N80bn debts

Nigerian Telecommunication Companies have threatened to disconnect banks’ Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD, services over unremitted N80 billion in debts as of November 2022.

The Chairman of the Association of Licenced Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr Gbenga Adebayo, stated this in an Interview with ThisDay on Tuesday.

Adebayo disclosed that it would soon come to a point where telcos would have no choice but to withdraw the USSD services since the banks have refused to pay.

“The debt is rising and has not been paid by the banks. As of November 2022, the accumulated debt has risen to over N80bn. As a background, when we started the argument in 2019, it was N32bn, and they continue to claim that they are not owing. However, our investigation shows that they still use the USSD platform to offer banking services to their customers. Yet, they are not remitting to telecom operators who own the USSD platform,” Adebayo said.

“Time will soon come when we will be forced to withdraw the service, and many banks’ customers that rely on the USSD service will suffer for it, and it will affect the economy. It is honourable to pay their debts, and they have to pay,” Adebayo warned.

He also explained that if the situation remains unsolved, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, cashless policy would be truncated.

DAILY POST gathered that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, and the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on several occasions, have waded into resolving the matter to no avail.