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Business

USSD service disruption: MTN, banks meeting end in a deadlock, continues today

The meeting was adjourned to Wednesday after the Tuesday discussions on the issues surrounding the commercial dispute were inconclusive.

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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 

The meeting between MTN and the commercial banks is expected to continue today as the one held yesterday between both parties ended in a deadlock.

The officials of the commercial banks and MTN were physically present in the hybrid meeting while the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele; and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, joined virtually.

According to a report from Thisday, the meeting was adjourned to Wednesday after the discussion on the issues surrounding the commercial dispute were inconclusive.

READ: Nigerian Banks to stop “instant completion” for forex transfers online

However, a source added that the meeting was not likely going to be concluded today, because of the grey issues in the commercial dispute, but expressed optimism that the resolution might be reached on Thursday.

The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr Karl Toriola, had earlier written a letter to the CEO of banks where he reminded them of yesterday’s hybrid meeting.

The letter partly reads, “In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the intervention from our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks revert to the status of 4.5 per cent commission. However, the banks and MTN Communications Nigeria Plc shall sit to agree on various options that will result in the reduction in the costs on April 6, 2021.”

READ: MTN names CWG’s Billsnpay, more Fintechs as alternative top-up channels

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In case you missed it

It can be recalled that on Thursday last week, MTN subscribers were disconnected from all banking channels by the commercial banks, due to disagreements over banks’ commission which was reduced by the mobile network operator from 4.5% to 2.5%

The commercial banks, in an earlier written communication with MTN, were reported to have asked for a reversal to the old commission or they would block MTN airtime recharge services in all their channels.

All the commercial banks, except Zenith Bank which was connected directly to MTN, thereafter barred MTN from their banking channels, leaving many MTN subscribers stranded and frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime through USSD and bank apps amid the Easter celebrations.

READ: NIPOST reclaim stamp duty collection from FIRS after years of dispute

However, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, had waded into the matter and had a meeting with the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Sunday, where it was agreed that both parties should return to the status quo pending the resolution of the issues.

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The banks immediately reconnected all MTN customers and a meeting was fixed for yesterday April 6, 2021, to begin negotiations that would lead to the resolution of the commercial dispute between the banks and MTN.

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

JAMB: How to register for the 2021 UTME examinations

JAMB stated that the registration for the examinations has now commenced in full swing as all the issues have been resolved.

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had about 3 weeks ago announced the commencement of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry registration exercise on April 8, 2021, to May 15, 2021, with National Identification Number (NIN) made mandatory at the point of registration.

This was put on hold due to the exam body’s effort to ensure that candidates have access to its registration app for the 2021 UTME/DE and also finalise work on its pin vending process before the take-off of the exercise.

However, in a new statement, the spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said the registration for the examinations has now commenced in full swings as all the issues have been resolved.

JAMB in its public communications gave a guide on how to register for the UTME.

READ: How to link your National Identity Number with your phone number

How to register for the 2021 UTME

  • VALID, FUNCTIONAL E-MAIL, PHONE NUMBER: The applicants must have a valid and functional e-mail account in addition to an active phone number. This is relevant for registration and sending and receipt of information from JAMB.
  • NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (NIN): JAMB has made it mandatory for applicants or potential candidates to provide their NIN at the point of registration or enrolment.
  • VISIT JAMB WEBSITE: After having your email address and NIN, the applicant can proceed to the examination body’s website, where he/she can create a JAMB profile, preferably before buying the form.
  • CHECK JAMB iBass: After creating a profile, you are advised to check JAMB iBass to be sure of your eligibility to take this year’s examination. The information is provided on the official website of the exam body.
  • JAMB e-pin: After confirming your eligibility, you can go ahead to buy your 2021 JAMB e-pin registration from banks and other accredited outlets.
  • CBT CENTRE: Then, proceed to any accredited 700 computer-based test (CBT) centre with your personal details and your profile code.

READ: JAMB sets date for 2021 UTME registration and examination, makes NIN mandatory

What you should know

JAMB a few days ago confirmed the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME/DE examinations after the initial hiccup.

It stated that applicants must provide NIN at the point of registration with the registration by Direct Entry candidates to run concurrently with that of UTME candidates.

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JAMB also said that the mock examination is expected to hold on Friday, April 30, 2021, for those who indicate interest and are registered before April 24, 2021, with the registration fee for the application still N3,500 and N500 for recommended Reading Text.

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Business

Customs Apapa Command generates N159.58 billion revenue in Q1 2021

Most revenues came through customs duty and charges.

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Here's how much Lagos-Apapa Customs Command generated in 5 months

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Command stated that it has generated a revenue of N159.58 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

This was disclosed by Ibrahim Yusuf, the Area Controller at Apapa Customs Command, in an interview with newsmen on Monday.

He added that most revenues came through customs duty and charges, citing a 44.8% revenue increase on duty collection compared to the N110 billion generated in the same period in 2020.

READ: Vitafoam declares N1.11 billion as profit in the first quarter of its financial year 2020/21

“The difference recorded was made possible because of robust stakeholders engagement, officers’ resolve in discharging their duties and increased level of compliance in the trade zone,” he said.

He added that the total seizure for the first quarter stood at 28 containers of goods with DPV (Duty Paid value) of N1.87 billion.

“The containers had rice, wheat declared as supermarket items, medical soap declared as baking powder, tramadol and others.

“These are all importations in breach of sections 46, 47 and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004 and Schedules 4 and 6 of the Common External Tariff (CET).

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READ: Customs revenue rises by N200 billion to hit N1.5 trillion in 2020

“These cases are at various stages of investigation and in due time will be revealed,” he disclosed.

The Customs boss also revealed that exported goods from Apapa were valued at N41.55 billion in Q1 2021, including manufactured goods such as soaps, textiles, noodles, and agricultural products such as cashew nuts, hibiscus, sesame seeds and other mineral resources.

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