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Business

Update: MTN bars subscribers from recharging via USSD, allegedly reviews banks’ discount on service

MTN Nigeria has suspended its service which allowed customers to recharge their mobile phones via USSD codes.

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NCC, MTN’s parent company faults regulator’s recommendation for data price reduction, MTN Nigeria reacts to poor internet as network issues go beyond Nigeria 

MTN Nigeria has blocked its subscribers from recharging their mobile phones or buying data using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes.

This happened after the telecoms giant allegedly cut back on the commissions it pays out to banks and fintechs on the sales of airtime and data.

What it means

This means that subscribers cannot recharge their lines or buy data plans using the USSD codes particular to their banks.

Several banks have sent notifications to the customers after they made efforts to recharge via USSD code, My MTNapp, and some FinTech firms.

MTN, with about 77 million subscribers, making up about 45 per cent of the total telecommunication market share in Nigeria, is arguably the largest telecommunication operator in the country.

READ: MTN CEO Designate, Karl Toriola acquires shares worth over N41 million

The financial institutions’ response reads:

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“Dear Customer, this service is temporarily unavailable. Kindly contact your Telecom service provider.”

SSKOHN

MTN Nigeria also confirmed the development in a mail sent to some of its partners, which in part reads:

“Dear Customer, Please be informed that some of Mycustomers may not be able to purchase airtime, and data recharge via banks including MOD, and myMTNApp.

Please pacify Mycustomers and educate them to use MTNTopit, MoMo channels, as well as the debit card options on MOD or myMTN App.”

READ: Crypto market value nears $2 trillion, as Bitcoin surges to $60,000

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Partner laments

One of the Telco’s partners, who prefers anonymity, alleged that the company singlehandedly decided to cut back on the commissions it pays out to banks and fintechs on the sales of airtime and data without proper engagement.

She said, “I believe the way the process was handled is unfair and a dare to some of the partners. The Class C category, which has partners at the bottom of the pyramid was cancelled and that takes effect from April 1, 2021.

“Aside from that, before slashing the commission, we expect the Telco to pay what they owe and not try to factor it into a new price regime so that customers will unknowingly pay for them. The fear is that if MTN succeeds, other telcos may follow the same path.”

Efforts to reach MTN on the development were abortive, as a source in the Public Relations outfit that manages the brand disclosed that the Telco has not issued any statement in that regard.

READ: FG launches Passport Express Centre to help Nigerians get passport in 72 hours

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See MTN’s Revised Discount notification below:

What you should know

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Three weeks ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) announced the introduction of new charges for customers using the USSD services, according to Nairametrics.

The two 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 services which has resulted in accumulated debt and a possible withdrawal of USSD services by MNOs.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via 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.

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    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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    Business

    Dangote acquires 400 trucks from ANAMMCO plant in Enugu, brings total to 4,000

    Dangote Group has taken delivery of another set of 400 Shacman trucks from Transit Support Services Limited and assembled in the former ANAMMCO plant in Enugu.

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    Dangote Cement, Dangote Dividends, Dangote on Forbe's richest list, Dangote Refinery, Africa's wealthiest billionaires, Aliko Dangote, Apapa Road, Flour Mills, Sugar, Pasta, Employment, Dangote boasts of creating over 25,000 jobs with cement business 

    The Dangote Group has taken delivery of another set of 400 Shacman trucks from Transit Support Services Limited and assembled in the former ANAMMCO plant in Enugu.

    This brings the total number of trucks bought by the Dangote Group from Transit Support Services Limited to about 4,000 units since the entry of the brand into the country in 2016.

    According to a report from the Punch, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Head of Public Relations and Media at the Transit Support Services Limited, Iyere Ikhide.

    READ: Dangote Cement incurs N97 billion taxes in 2020

    Ikhide in the statement said that the Dangote-Shacman partnership has led to the resuscitation of the ANAMMCO plant in Enugu.

    It described Dangote as the biggest customer of the Enugu-based auto assembler, noting that the partnership had resulted in the provision of more jobs for many youths; rejuvenation of the Onne Port in Rivers State and the attendant economic benefits.

    The statement from Transit Support Services Limited partly reads, “Following the partnership deal and commitments to quality, the biggest customer of Shacman brand in Nigeria, Dangote Group, has taken delivery of additional 400 units of Shacman trucks.

    Dangote Group has since the entrance of Shacman vehicles into the Nigerian market through Transit Support Services Limited as Shacman Nigeria six years ago, bought over 3,500 units of the brand.’’

    READ: Dangote injects N63 billion to revive moribund ANAMMCO

    SSKOHN

    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that in February 2020, the largest Indigenous Industrial Conglomerate in West Africa, the Dangote Group, invested about N63 billion in a local automaker with an assembling plant in Enugu with the purchase of 3,500 trucks while going into a long-term partnership with them.
    • The automaker, which goes by the name Transit Support Services Limited, went into a long-term agreement with Dangote Group and has already supplied 3,500 Shacman trucks to the company from its Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company assembly plant in Emene Enugu State.

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