Exclusive Reports

Sun, May

Banks, MTN Reach Agreement, Restore USSD Services


Deposit Banks in Nigeria have lifted the ban placed on MTN subscribers, restricting over 75 million customers from recharging their lines using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) following an intervention by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele. Banks had on Friday blocked MTN subscribers, leaving millions unable to recharge their lines or data plans with Easter celebrations days away.

In a post-meeting letter, MTN Chief, Karl Toriola said: “In an attempt to resolve the current USSD recharge impasse, given the intervention from our regulators, we hereby agree that the banks and MTN Nigeria Communications Plc shall sit to agree on various options that would result in the reduction in the cost on April 6, 2021.”

“The document was issued by me to the banks on the specific intervention of the CBN governor and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. MTN’s intention has always been geared towards business optimisation to the benefit of our customers and indeed the country. This is evidenced by the fact that through the USSD imbroglio, we never denied access to our customers,” he added.

“In the current case, customers have been denied access to services by the banks despite having money in their accounts to purchase those services. MTN would naturally do all it can to minimise customer’s pain.”

MTN customers had to opt for alternative digital payment services like Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Momo agents *223#, myMTN Web, Carbon, and BillnPay.

Meanwhile, MTN has informed customers to recharge by dialing *904# and *606#.