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Uproar as Banks, Telcos introduce charges on the use of USSD code 

Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria have introduced charges on the use of USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) code for banking services. 

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Nigerian Banks, Fitch, Nigerian banks tremble over Cyber attack

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 

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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 

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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. 

Chika Nelson disappointingly disclosed that Charges won’t Stop until Nigerians come together& say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! 

https://twitter.com/chikanels/status/1185850554645438464

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Also, Mrs Aijay stated that while the communication tax is still in the pipeline, another charges on struggling citizens is here.  

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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.  

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. 

 

 

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jane

    October 20, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    NIGERIA as a country is a disgrace to all African nation’s. We have the economy pblms that needs the intervention of the Almighty Allah o Savage. We are all in trouble..

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ENDSARS

South-West Governors say attacks in Lagos were attempts to weaken the region’s economy

South West governors have they described the coordinated attacks in the state as an attempt to weaken the region’s economy.

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South-West Governors say attacks in Lagos were attempts to weaken the region's economy

Governors of the South-West states have pledged their supports to their Lagos State counterpart, as they described the coordinated attacks in the state as an attempt to weaken the region’s economy.

This was disclosed by the Chief Press Secretary of the state, Gboyega Akosile, during the visits of the Governors and the Federal Executive Council members from SouthWest to the public assets and private properties destroyed in last Wednesday’s arson in the state.

READ: How to access new N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund

He tweeted, “Shock! This was the expression on the faces of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) members from Southwest and Governors as they toured the public assets and private properties destroyed in Wednesday’s coordinated arson in Lagos State.

“The delegation of Governors and Ministers was personally received by Sanwo-Olu at the State House in Marina, where the Lagos helmsman showed them the pictorial evidence of the violence before visiting some of the torched assets.”

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READ: President Buhari approves N13.3 billion for Community Policing in Nigeria

At a joint press conference held after the tour, Chairman of Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, compared the scenes to a war zone, given the extent of the destruction.

According to him, the violence that resulted from the EndSARS protest left much to be desired, stressing that there was an agenda beyond the youth demonstration against police brutality.

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READ: FEC approves $40 oil benchmark for 2021 budget

He said, “We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations, and investment of our people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in those areas.

READ: FG suit may lead to delay in Shell’s Bonga project

What this means: From all indications, it is obvious that the South-West Governors believed that the said attack, which were rumoured to have been carried out by suspected hoodlums, were sponsored by some people to deliberately disorganize the region’s economy.

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#EndSARS Protest: 80 BRT buses worth N3.9 billion were destroyed by hoodlums – LASG 

The Lagos State Government disclosed that the 84 BRT vehicles destroyed by the hoodlums cost a total of about N3.9 billion.

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#EndSARS Protest: 80 BRT buses worth N3.9 billion were destroyed by hoodlums - LASG 

The Lagos State Government has revealed that 27 of the burnt Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles in the Oyingbo and Ojodu Berger areas of the state cost $200,000 each, while 57 of them cost $100,000 each, all totaling about N3.9 billion.

This statement was made by the Lagos State Government on Friday, after evaluating the extent of damage made to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles.

READ: Arik, Dana Airlines to resume flight operations after curfew

What you should know

Few days ago, hoodlums hiding under the cover of #EndSARS protests allegedly attacked and razed the Oyingbo BRT terminal, with several buses burnt. Nairametrics reported that Primero Transport Services Ltd (PRT), the owners of BRT buses said they have lost over N100 million in 6 days due to the #EndSARS protests.

READ: Lagos Bus Service records 10 million passengers in 10 months

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The State’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho, in an exclusive interview with Punch, disclosed that:

  • 23 big BRT buses were razed down, while 57 medium-size BRT buses were affected by the violence, which brings the total of the BRT vehicles destroyed to 80. 
  • 23 of the 80 BRT buses burnt by the hoodlums were at Ojodu, while the remaining  57 were at the Oyingbo area.  
  • The big buses cost around $200,000 each, while the medium-size ones cost around $100,000 each.

READ: #EndSARS: Lagos orders investigation of Lekki Toll Plaza shooting

What they are saying 

Mr. Omotosho said, “As I speak, the Governor and some of us are going around the state from one facility to the other. We are also visiting private facilities. Some of the places were the Oregun Vehicle Inspection Service office, the BRT park at Oyingbo, and the terminus at Ojodu Berger. 

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“I don’t know how they planned it; the hoodlums left the old buses and went for the new ones. The new ones were worth billions of naira. 

READ: Operators of BRT suspend operations on Ikorodu-TBS route

“However, the cumulative losses incurred by the state are not ready yet. But it will be mind-boggling. It came on a scale beyond belief. We know that the police have apprehended suspects.”

What this means

The vehicles were purchased in dollars; So, the consistent decrease in the value of Naira is expected to edge the cost of these buses up, when denominated in Naira. 

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotosho explained that with the current foreign exchange rate, the 80 destroyed BRT buses are now valued at N3.929 billion.

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BREAKING: Lagos State reviews curfew again, now from 8pm to 6am

Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu has once again reviewed the curfew in the state to now commence between 8 pm to 6 am.

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4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge, Lagos offers tech founders N250 million seed fund, cuts stringent access , Governor Sanwo-olu launches 14 ferries to tackle gridlock, says Okada ban irreversible, ride-hailing

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has further reviewed the curfew earlier imposed on the state to help contain the large scale violence following the hijacked #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings. The curfew now starts at 8 pm and ends at 6 am daily.

This is coming 2 days after the Governor had eased the 24-hour curfew to start from 6 pm to 8 am daily.

This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, on Sunday, October 25, 2020.

The Commissioner in his statement said, “The curfew in Lagos State has been reviewed. Restriction time is now 8 pm to 6 am. Lagosians are enjoined to plan their journey times as they go about their lawful businesses. Public schools remain shut till further notice.”

What this means

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This new review gives Lagosians an extra 4 hours to go about their daily activities.

What to expect

The Lagos State government will keep on reviewing and relaxing the curfew, as long as the security situation does not spike again.

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Details later…

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