Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, has directed telecommunication companies to halt the planned withdrawal of unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) services.
This minister’s directive was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by Femi Adeluyi, his technical assistant.
Telcos recently announced their plan to suspend USSD services over N42 billion debt owed by financial service providers effective Monday, March 15.
“The honourable minister of communications and digital economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has directed that the impending suspension of the USSD services by the mobile network operators (MNOs) be put on hold, ” the statement read.
“The suspension which was to take effect on Monday, 15th of March, was due to the lingering debt owed MNOs by commercial banks for the provision of USSD banking services.”
Pantami explained that he has written to Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to instruct banks to settle their debts.
“In a bid to ensure amicable resolution of the impasse, Dr Pantami has called for a meeting of all stakeholders, including governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the executive vice chairman of the NCC (Nigerian Communications Commission), the MNOs (mobile network operators), and the financial institutions, ” the statement added.
“The meeting is scheduled to hold on Monday, 15th of March, 2021. The outcome of the meeting will determine the next step regarding the status of the USSD financial services.”