Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Telecommunication operators (Telcos) in Nigeria have introduced charges on the use of USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) code for banking services.
According to the text message received by several bank users today, starting from tomorrow, October 21, every usage of USSD code for banking services now attracts N4 per 20 seconds.
The messages received across board by MTN users read:
“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.
“Yello, Please note that from Oct 21, we will charge N4 per 20 seconds for USSD access to banking services. Thank you“
How this affects you: USSD code is a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.
- The USSD is simply a code that you enter on your phone to enable you enjoy certain banking services. These are services that could have otherwise taken you to the banking hall, the ATM, or an Internet-connected desktop, laptop, iPad or smartphone for Internet banking.
- Basically, by simply entering a USSD code (designated by your bank) on your mobile that is not even connected to the Internet, you can enjoy several banking services that otherwise may have necessitated you going to the banking hall, an ATM or an Internet-connected computer.
- With the new charge imposed, it means the service is no longer free and a user will now pay N4 per 20 seconds used.
- Meanwhile, users who may want to avoid this charge will need to download the banks’ application for transaction.
But Nigerians are not having it. Following the announcement, Nigerians have expressed disappointment at the development, describing it as too much burden for the people to bear and may further worsen the financial inclusion state of the Nigerian people.
According to a twitter user, Alex Oluwatobi, this is not democracy but “Exploitocracy”.
1. VAT on an increase.
2. Toll gate is coming back.
3. Charges on cash deposit & withdrawal has been implemented.
5. N50 stamp duty on PoS transaction over 1k.
6. Payment for the renewal of National ID card.
7. USSD charge for banking services.
Sighs, it is well. 🚶♂️ pic.twitter.com/7JZxbQ2Qhg
— Alex Oluwatobi (@alexlobaloba) October 20, 2019
Another twitter user lamented that all the polices from VAT increase, charges on deposit and withdrawals, payment on renewal of National ID and others come so quickly.
And all these charges were implemented so quickly!
But minimum wage agreed since how many months is yet to be implemented across all levels https://t.co/mxB2nqROkO
— Annieeeeeeeee (@aneetah_Efemena) October 20, 2019
Chika Nelson disappointingly disclosed that Charges won’t Stop until Nigerians come together& say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Also, Mrs Aijay stated that while the communication tax is still in the pipeline, another charges on struggling citizens is here.
They are still talking about communication tax….all these taxes from citizens who are struggling under the wings of poor economy. Na wa ooo
— Mrs Aijay (@Mrsaijay) October 20, 2019
Meanwhile, another twitter user opined that it is the high time every bank user now downloaded application for transactions against the use of USSD code.
I never for once liked to use any bank's USSD code.
Now I'm seeing network provider's saying they will charge for every USSD bank usage.
They are all out to drain from the little we don't even have.
Please if you use an internet enabled device, get your bank app. ✌
— Da Mayor of Tweet City 🌎 (@iam_damayor) October 20, 2019
A counter move: As the uproar continues, the ministry of communication has issued a counter statement to dispel the purported new policy. In a statement released by the ministry, the Minister of Communication, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, stated that the ministry is not aware of such development and thereby directed the Nigerian Communication Commission to ensure the operator suspends such plans until the ministry properly briefed.
— Fed Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy (@FMoCDENigeria) October 20, 2019
Multiverse forecasts N39.5 million profit in Q1 2021
The management of Multiverse Plc has projected a revenue of N76 million and a profit of N39.5 million in Q1 2021.
Multiverse Mining and Exploration Plc has projected that in the first quarter of 2021, the mining and exploration company will generate N76 million in revenue, and post a profit of N39.5 million.
These projections were made by the company in a recent earnings forecast issued by the Management, and signed by the Corporate Secretaries of the company.
Key highlights of the earnings forecast for Q1 2021
- Total revenue is projected at N76 million.
- Turnover from agency sale is projected at N1 million.
- Agency cost is s projected at N850 thousand.
- Total expenses are projected at N7.8 million.
- Operating Profit is projected at N67.3 million.
- EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxation) is projected at N67.3 million.
- Interest Expense is projected at N27.8 million.
- Profit after tax is projected at N39.5 million.
Key assumptions made to support the earnings forecast and projection of the company
The earnings forecast was made on the ground that there won’t be any significant change in the economic policies of the Federal Government, while the monetary policies of the CBN would not be altered significantly.
The company also maintained that there would not be any industrial unrest that would affect its production and sales volume, while the profit of the company would not be pressured by rising costs of inputs, as prices of materials used in production shall be stable in the period under review.
GCR affirms Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG)
Global Credit Ratings has affirmed Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG).
Dangote Cement Plc has announced that Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the cement manufacturer a long-term and short-term national scale issuer ratings of AA+ (NG) and A1+(NG) respectively.
According to the press release issued by the company, the rating which maintains a stable outlook on Dangote Cement would expire by November 2021.
In line with this, GCR reviewed existing bonds of the company and assigned the N100bn Series 1 Fixed Rate Bond of Dangote Cement a rating of AA+.
Why this matters
- The ratings reflect Dangote Cement Plc’s status as Africa’s leading integrated cement manufacturer with a group-wide installed capacity of 45.6 million metric tonnes per annum across ten countries.
- The stable outlook which was maintained by GCR reflects the extensive distribution network, significant scale economies and position as the largest corporations on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with sound access to capital.
- It is important to note that a rebound is expected within 18-24 months, on the back of strong base domestic demand.
What they are saying
Michel Puchercos, Chief Executive Officer, said:
- “Dangote Cement has shown great resilience in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging environment. The Group continues to report strong cash generation while maintaining strong financial discipline. As Africa’s leading cement producer, we are committed to maximizing shareholder value creation.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu says 24,000 students yet to resume in public schools
24,000 students in public schools are yet to return back after the reopening of schools, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that about 24,000 students in public schools are yet to come back after the reopening of schools following last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of Covid-19 across the country.
This is as the governor said that resumption of school activities Monday, January 20, 2021, was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of Covid-19.
This disclosure was made by the governor while peaking during a press conference on Covid-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu assured that it was the best decision for the children’s safety and long-term development, especially the most vulnerable ones.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.
“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that public and private schools below the tertiary level in Lagos State, On Monday, January 18, 2021, reopened for academic activities despite opposition from some stakeholders due to the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
- Following the surge in the number of infections in the state, which is the epicentre of the disease in the country, there were complaints about the state of preparedness of the schools, especially the public ones, in adhering to the strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.