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CBN introduces new charges for USSD services with effect from March 16

The CBN and the NCC have announced the introduction of new charges for customers using the USSD services.

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parallel market, Covid-19: N3.5 trillion disbursed as stimulus package for the Nigerian economy, CBN Vs NESG: Waving the white flag for the benefit of Nigerians, Exchange Rate Unification: CBN devalues official rate to N380/$1, Nigerian banks have written off N1.9 trillion impaired loans in past 4 years, CBN sandbox operations, Stirling Trust Company Limited, Key highlights of the October 2020 Business Expectations Survey Report, A Total of N3.5 trillion was disbursed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to several other interventions to reflate the economy - CBN, BOFIA 2020: Steps forward or backwards for Nigerian banks, Total credit to the economy rose to N19.54trillion – CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have announced the introduction of new charges for customers using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services.

The 2 regulatory agencies said that customers will pay a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction every time they use USSD services with effect from Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

This is the outcome of the meeting between the CBN, NCC, deposit money banks and mobile network operators (MNOs) over a protracted dispute concerning appropriate pricing for the USSD pricing model for financial services which resulted in accumulated debt and a possible withdrawal of USSD services by MNOs.

This disclosure is contained in a statement jointly signed by the CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi; and Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Ikechukwu Adinde on Tuesday.

The joint statement stated that the new charges was part of the resolution reached at the meeting adding that a settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for USSD services, previously rendered by mobile network operators was being worked out by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved.

The statement which was titled, ‘Joint Statement By Central Bank Of Nigeria and Nigerian Communications Commission On Pricing Of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Services’, partly read, “We are pleased to announce that after comprehensive deliberations on the key issues, a resolution framework acceptable to all parties was agreed thus:

“Effective March 16, 2021, USSD services for financial transactions conducted at DMBs (Deposit Money Banks) and all CBN-licensed institutions will be charged at a flat fee of N6.98 per transaction. This replaces the current per session billing structure, ensuring a much cheaper average cost for customers to enhance financial inclusion. This approach is transparent and will ensure the amount remains the same, regardless of the number of sessions per transaction.

 “To promote transparency in its administration, the new USSD charges will be collected on behalf of MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) directly from customers’ bank accounts. Banks shall not impose additional charges on customers for us of the USSD channel.”

‘’A settlement plan for outstanding payments incurred for the USSD services, previously rendered by the MNOs is being worked at by all parties in a bid to ensure that the matter is fully resolved.’’

SSKOHN

 ‘’MNOs and DMBs shall discuss and agree on the operational modalities for the implementation of the new USSD pricing framework, including sharing of Application Programme Interface to enable seamless, direct and transparent customer billing.’’

“With the above resolutions, the impending suspension of DMBs from the USSD channel is hereby vacated. Therefore, DMBs shall no longer be disconnected from the USSD channel.’’

The statement reiterated that the general public is reminded that the USSD channel is optional, as several alternative channels such as mobile apps, internet banking and ATMs may be used for financial transactions.

The CBN and NCC said that they shall continue to engage relevant operators and all stakeholders to promote cheaper, seamless access to mobile and financial services for all Nigerians,” the statement concluded.

Stanbic 728 x 90

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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    Business

    President Buhari restores ownership of OML 123, 124, 126 and 137 to NNPC

    The President has ordered the restoration of ownership of OML 123, others to NNPC.

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    Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

    President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the restoration of the leases on OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which is in a production sharing contract with the Chinese government-0wned, Addax Petroleum.

    This is in line with the current administration’s rule of law, fairness and enabling a stable business environment for businesses.

    This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, through a series of tweet posts on his official Twitter handle on Friday, April 23, 2021.

    The President directed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to retract the letter of revocation of the leases, while also directing NNPC to utilize contractual provisions to resolve issues in line with extant provisions of the Production Sharing Contract arrangement between NNPC and Addax.

    READ: Senate to investigate 7 oil companies over refusal to remit $21 billion 

    What the Presidential Media Aide is saying in the statement

    The statement from Garba Shehu partly reads, ‘’In line with the current administration’s commitment to the rule of law, fairness and enabling a stable business climate for investment, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the restoration of the leases on OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 to NNPC Group which is in production sharing contract with Addax Petroleum, a company wholly owned by Government of the People’s Republic of China on the blocks. The leases belonging to the Federation were revoked on March 30, 2021.

    ‘’This development reaffirms the commitment of President Buhari to the rule of law and sanctity of contracts. While directing the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to retract the letter pf revocation of the leases, the President also directed NNPC to utilize contractual provisions to resolve issues in line with the extant provisions of the Production Sharing Contract arrangement between NNPC and Addax.’’

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    READ: Total SA to explore crude on Nigeria’s border with Sao Tome

    SSKOHN

    Shehu in his statement also said that the restoration of the blocks to NNPC will boost the organisation’s portfolio, thereby making the corporation to, in the long run, boost its crude oil production and in turn increase the revenue it generates to the Federation Account.

    In case you missed it

    It can be recalled that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), had on March 31, 2021, revoked the 4 assets of Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Limited, namely OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 due to the non-development of the assets by the company.

    The DPR had earlier said that it has inaugurated a team of experts to evaluate the revoked assets of Addax Petroleum, which was in preparation for the formal handing over to the new operators- Kaztech/Slavic Consortium.

    Stanbic 728 x 90

    The oil sector regulator also pointed out that the move was in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s commitment to reactivating all moribund oil and gas support facilities across the country.

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    Corporate Press Releases

    GAGE Awards 2021 takes centre stage as Bisola hosts virtual edition

    The virtual edition will be hosted by Ex–BBNaija star Bisola Aiyeola alongside a stellar cast of entertainers billed to perform on the night.

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    After what has been an interesting year for so many reasons, the GAGE Awards is finally taking centre stage on 24th April, 2021.This year’s edition is fully virtual, leveraging the best of technology to broadcast proceedings at the event.

    The event is beach-themed, which is meant to help set viewers in a relaxed mode after such a tough past year. Digital came through for us and it’s time to gather virtually to celebrate the stars that made our lives simpler and better especially in the thick of the pandemic.

    The virtual edition will be hosted by Ex – BBNaija star Bisola Aiyeola alongside a stellar cast of entertainers billed to perform on the night. It will be interesting to see the winner of some of the categories such as the Online news platform of the Year, Data Service provider of the Year, Webseries of the Year, Content Creator of the Year etc.

    The Influencer of the Year category which got the internet in frenzy with over 20 million engagements on the GAGE Awards website will definitely be one of the most anticipated categories on the night. In that category are online powerhouses such as BBNAIJA revelations Erica Nlewedim and Nengi Hampson. Also in that category are Twitter top influencers Pamilerin Adegoke, Aisha Yesuf and Instagram top brand Influencer, Tomike Adeoye. Another big category to watch out for is the Online Comedian of the Year. Top contenders in that category are; Mr Macaroni, MCLively, Sydney Talker, Taaooma and Lasisi Elenu. Taaooma took home this category last year and it will be interesting to see if she can retain her crown as king of Online Comedy. The Banking app of the Year is another huge category to look for.Top contenders for the crown are GTBank, VBank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank and Alat by Wema.

    To attend the GAGE Awards virtual edition, registration is via this link, https://gageawards.com/register/.

    It will be recalled that GAGE Awards seeks to celebrate and spotlight the best individuals, brands or groups who have enriched lives in 2020 by leveraging on the power of digital to simplify our everyday lives. The award recognizes, celebrates, rewards, and amplifies the eventual winners’ outstanding activities and contributions to the digital ecosystem yearly.

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