USSD: Banks, Telcos Meet As Debt Hits N100bn
The accrued debt from Unstructured Supplementary Service Knowledge which Deposit Cash Banks owe telecommunication companies has risen to over N100bn.
Because of this, banks and telcos are anticipated to carry one other spherical of conferences with a view to resolving the impasse.
The debt was put at N80bn a couple of months in the past.
The Head of Operations of the Affiliation of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) Gbolahan Awonuga, in a dialog with our correspondent, confirmed that USSD money owed had grown from N80bn as of November 2022 to over N100bn In April.
In response to him, a lot progress as regards reimbursement has not been made, with telcos and banks nonetheless locked up in discussions.
He instructed our correspondent, “It’s nonetheless there. The banks and MNOs are nonetheless discussing, there isn’t any means ahead. The debt has continued to extend and is now over N100bn.”
A top-ranking supply in one of many telecom companies disclosed that USSD debt has grown past N100bn. The supply famous that banks owe solely one of many telcos about N100bn.
The supply said, “The N100bn doesn’t minimize it. As of November, final 12 months, the quantity that was owed to us was N90bn. Proper now, it’s protected to say that the quantity is over N100bn. This is only one telco, what in regards to the others? The whole determine might be estimated at N150bn.”
In response to the supply, banks are refusing to acknowledge the debt, therefore irritating the restoration course of.
The supply defined, “No progress has been made just because the banks have dug of their heels and are refusing to just accept that they owe us cash, to not discuss of repaying.
“Additionally, they’ve the backing of the CBN, which is why they aren’t seeing the necessity to repay, whereas telcos can not take such an motion as a result of the regulator will cite the influence on subscribers. It has not been resolved, and the banks have gotten extra emboldened.”
USSD companies be sure that many Nigerians can entry banking companies on their telephones with smartphone penetration nonetheless fairly low within the nation. It serves as a bridge to monetary inclusion for a lot of underserved Nigerians.
Financial institution clients use USSD codes to switch cash, examine account balances, and perform different transactions with out Web connectivity. Regardless of its relevance, banks, and telcos have been at odds since 2019 over the non-remittance of USSD charges.
Final 12 months, the Chairman of ALTON, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, disclosed that USSD had risen to N80bn from N32bn in 2019. On the time, he mentioned telcos have been getting to some extent after they would now not assist USSD companies. On December 30, 2022, he instructed Economic Confidential, “Now we have sought regulatory approval to pursue partial removing.
“We might begin disconnecting those that owe us in batches, a highest debtor state of affairs. We don’t know as regards the timing as a result of we’re required to get approval earlier than performing. However we will surely begin the method as soon as it’s accredited.”